Renewable energy and natural gas provider Sempra US Gas & Power announced Wednesday that it had completed construction of Mesquite Solar 1, the first 150-megawatt phase of the company’s Mesquite Solar complex location in Arlington, Arizona.
“We are pleased to continue the momentum of our solar program with the completion of Mesquite Solar 1 and will now focus on the development of the remaining 4,000-acre complex,” said Jeffrey W. Martin, president and chief executive officer of Sempra US Gas & Power.
Mesquite Solar 1 is currently operational and subsequently ranks amongst the largest solar farms currently operational in the US.
Located on 4,000 acres 40 miles west of Phoenix, Mesquite Solar 1 is currently has a capacity of 150 megawatts (MW) in phase 1, but will eventually measure in at 700 MW further down the line. Construction began in mid-2011 and has since created an estimated 300 local construction jobs and up to 10 long-term positions.
The large solar power plant is “generating enough clean electricity to power about 56,000 homes,” as well as reducing greenhouse gases by around 190,000 tonnes annually. That’s the equivalent of taking 33,000 cars off the road.
“This accomplishment puts us solidly on track to own and operate more than 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by the end of this year,” Martin added. “We are excited about the future. This milestone would not have been possible without the strong support of neighboring communities, regulators and local and state elected officials.”
“Arizona continues to lead the nation in the production of clean, renewable solar energy,” said Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer. “Projects like Sempra U.S. Gas & Power’s Mesquite Solar 1 not only create clean energy, they also generate quality jobs for Arizonans. I am thrilled to see our great state at the forefront of this promising industry and I look forward to Arizona continuing to establish itself as our nation’s solar capital.”
The electricity generated at Mesquite Solar 1 is sold to California’s Pacific Gas & Electric under a 20-year contract.
Source: Sempra Energy
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