Arizona Public Service (APS) is to construct an 18MW solar photovoltaics plant 70 miles southwest of Phoenix in Gila Bend, located in the town's new Solar Overlay Zone. Work on the plant, which will be owned by APS and developed by Solon, is expected to begin in early 2011 for completion in November of the same year.

"This project enables APS to continue building its renewable energy portfolio and helps us develop Arizona's vast solar resources," said APS president and CEO, Don Robinson. "Our customers will benefit for years to come from this partnership between APS, Solon and Gila Bend."

The plant will utilize 75,000 solar panels, in 1,566 rows, connected to 108 single-axis trackers, over 145 acres. The energy produced by the plant will be distributed to residential customers in the region. On days with high solar irradiation, the plant is expected to produce enough energy to meet the needs of 4,500 residential customers.

"Solon is proud to partner with APS and thrilled to provide the total system solution for this landmark project--from Solon trackers and modules to our site development, system design and construction. The Gila Bend system showcases our truly comprehensive offering that will bring clean, renewable energy throughout the state," said Dan Alcombright, regional vice president and general manager of North America at Solon.

The plant will be connected to the electric grid at the Cotton Center Substation, located less than a mile from the solar project.