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Sempra US Gas & Power, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, has commenced construction on its utility-scale Copper Mountain Solar 3 project.

The facility is part of the larger Copper Mountain Solar project, which represents one of the biggest solar projects in the US. The solar complex consists of the Copper Mountain Solar 1, Copper Mountain Solar 2 and Copper Mountain Solar 3 PV facilities which are all located in Boulder City, Nevada. When all three plants are complete, they will have a combined capacity of 458MW.

Copper Mountain Solar 1 has a capacity of 58MW and was completed in December 2010. The first phase of Copper Mountain Solar 2 was completed earlier this year and involved installing 92MW of PV capacity. The second phase will involve installing the remaining 58MW bringing its total capacity to 150MW. Phase two is expected to complete in 2015.

The construction of Copper Mountain Solar 3 is also scheduled to complete in 2015 and will have a total capacity of 250MW. During construction, it is expected to create an estimated 500 jobs and eight permanent positions.

The facility will be built on 566 hectares of desert land and electricity generated from the plant will be sold to utility firms in the south-west of the US.