Concentrator PV deployment accelerates, as Amonix systems power pair of southwest US sites

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Two new concentrator photovoltaics power plants opened this week, both featuring Amonix systems. A 2MW (AC) installation features 36 CPV arrays in the Solar Zone at the University of Arizona’s Science and Technology Park sits on 12 acres of land in Tucson, and a 318KW site will provide up to 75% of Granite Construction’s electricity needs at its location in Indio, CA.

Amonix has also partnered with Granite on the installation side of the business, as the construction company helped deploy a half-megawatt of the CPV company’s large dual-axis tracking systems per day at UASTP, once the pedestals were put in place.    

The larger CPV plant was developed through a partnership between Amonix, UASTP, and Tucson Electric Power, which has a 20-year agreement to purchase the facility’s electricity.

Amonix’s system is the first in a series of privately owned, utility-scale solar projects that are being developed to serve TEP customers. The utility will buy the output of 10 systems, which would add 127MW of local solar-generating capacity to the company’s renewable energy portfolio. TEP is also developing its own solar power systems, including a 1.6MW array, which was completed last year in the Solar Zone.

An Emcore 2MW CPV system as well as two more traditional 5MW PV power plants will also be part of the 222-acre Solar Zone test bed, when completed. Amonix is also developing a 10MW project at Swan Quarry in the greater Tucson area.

The CPV installation in Indio consists of six Amonix 7700 systems and will provide electricity to Granite’s hot-mix asphalt plant. Any surplus energy generated by the power farm, when the mixing plant is not in operation, will be provided to the Imperial Irrigation District.

A set of three Amonix systems rated at 159KW already helps with the power needs of Granite’s Swan Road facility in Tucson. (corrected) 

The pair of now-activated Amonix systems represent the latest in a string of recently announced CPV deployments, joining the Chevron/Soitec 1MW site in New Mexico and a pair of SolFocus arrays totaling more than 1.4MW located in central and southern California.

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