Renewable energy developer Sempra U.S. Gas & Power has dedicated the first phase of Arizona's Mesquite solar project, expected to become one of the largest PV plants in North America.
Under the first phase, Mesquite 1, the company has installed 150MW at its 4,000 acre Mesquite Solar complex, which has the potential to accommodate up to 700MW.
The entire Mesquite project is expected to become the North America's largest PV solar power installation, Sempra said.
At a dedication ceremony, Arizona secretary of state Ken Bennett, said: “Mesquite Solar 1 represents a major step forward for the state of Arizona as we continue down the path toward our goal of establishing ourselves as the nation's leader in solar generation. Sempra U.S. Gas and Power has demonstrated remarkable leadership with this project, and we look to continue working together to fully build out the Mesquite Solar Complex.”
Kevin C. Sagara, vice president of renewable for Sempra U.S. Gas & Power said: “This is a shining moment for the state of Arizona as it continues to establish itself as a renewable energy leader. There is so much to be proud of here. Our project would not have been possible without all the tremendous support we received at the federal, state and local level.”
The construction stage broke ground in June 2011 and created more than 500 local temporary jobs as well as 10 permanent positions.
The Mesquite Solar 1 became operational in December 2012 and it now generates enough clean electricity to power about 56,000 homes.
Pacific Gas & Electric will purchase the power produced by the plant under a 20-year contract.