First Solar collaborates with Arizona Public Service for 17MW PV project in Gila Bend

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Arizona Public Service (APS) is expanding upon its AZ Sun program with the development of a new 17MW PV facility in Gila Bend, Arizona. With the Paloma Solar Plant, APS’s AZ Sun program will have committed 83MW of solar capacity out of the 100MW it aims to finance and own upon the program’s completion, which is intended for sometime in 2014. First Solar was contracted by APS to design and build the Paloma Solar Plant and expects to have it online by September.

“Through the AZ Sun program, we have been able to move quickly to begin building new solar power plants to complement our other generating resources. We expect these plants to provide clean, reliable energy to our customers for at least the next 30 years,” said Don Robinson, APS president and chief operating officer.

Although no financial details for the deal between APS and First Solar were released, APS notes that the solar facility will use 300,000 thin-film PV panels mounted on fixed-tilt steel frames; a first for an APS solar plant. The solar project will be constructed on an alfalfa farm in Gila Bend, a city that is also home to Abengoa Solar’s Solana CSP installation, for which APS negotiated a 30-year PPA to purchase all of Solana’s generation beginning in 2013.

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