Energy company E.ON’s solar subsidiary, E.ON Climate and Renewables (EC&R), has completed its US first projects, in Arizona.
EC&R has completed two projects with a total capacity of 20MW. Both have power purchase agreements (PPAs) with utility Tucson Electric Power (TEP).
The first project is Valencia Solar, a 13MW project which came online in June. Construction for both facilities began in the second half of 2012.
The second project is a solar extension of the University of Arizona Science and Technology Park, called the ‘Solar Zone’. The Solar Zone was developed in collaboration with the Campus Research Corporation (CRC).
The Solar Zone will be a 7MW project, with all solar power generated to be used by TEP. The Solar Zone's first installed system, a 1.6MW single-axis tracking photovoltaic array is also owned and operated by TEP.
The Solar Zone is to include research facilities, educational outreach and awareness and green employment training as well as PV technology testing, manufacturing and distribution.
In 2009, TEP issued a request for proposals (RFP) to companies interested in building solar facilities to show different solar technologies. The UA Tech Park was identified as a “preferred site” for the project.
“We're very pleased with how quickly the projects came together,” said Christophe Jurczak, president of EC&R Solar, calling the projects EC&R’s “maiden solar facilities in the US”.
“We're excited that the [Tech Park Solar] TPS project supports a key research area of the University of Arizona with their emphasis on solar energy,” said Bill Thomas, vice president of development and origination at EC&R Solar. “In addition we are able to support economic development.”
The Tech Park Solar and Valencia facilities encompass a combined 150 acres, with components for the projects provided by inverter manufacturer Eaton, and tracker manufacturer, Terrafix.