SOLAR | In Operation
- Location: West of Phoenix, AZ
- Capacity: Up to 700 MW | 150 MW (phase 1)
- Homes Powered: Up to 260,000 | 56,000 (phase 1)
- Completed: December 2012 (phase 1)
- Customer: Pacific Gas & Electric (phase 1)
Sempra U.S. Gas & Power has developed a new source of renewable electricity and created jobs in the Arizona desert. Located about 60 miles west of Phoenix, the 3,800-acre Mesquite Solar complex taps into 300 days of sunshine each year to generate emission-free solar power without the use of precious water supplies. With a full build-out potential of 700 megawatts (MW), the Mesquite Solar complex is well-positioned to be North America's largest photovoltaic (PV) solar power installation when complete.
The 150-MW first phase of the solar complex - called Mesquite Solar 1 - was completed in December 2012, generating enough clean electricity for about 56,000 homes. The facility is jointly owned by Sempra U.S. Gas & Power and Consolidated Edison Development. It provided a boost to the local economy, creating an estimated 300 local construction jobs and 12 long-term positions. The renewable power from Mesquite Solar 1 is sold to California's Pacific Gas & Electric under a 20-year contract.
- Created an estimated 300 local construction jobs and 12 long-term positions
- Requires no water to generate electricity, saving this precious resource for other needs
- Partly manufactured with solar panels made in Arizona
- Built on previously disturbed land near existing power plants and transmission lines
- Reduces greenhouse gases by about 190,000 tons annually, the equivalent of taking 33,000 cars off the road
Mesquite Solar Site Expansion
With little cloud cover and relatively intense solar radiation, Arizona is particularly well suited for solar energy. The Mesquite Solar complex site offers land availability, proximity to transmission facilities suitable for interconnection, flat terrain, and compatible neighboring land uses - all factors which are key to siting of a solar energy facility.
In anticipation of the development of future phases of the Mesquite Solar complex, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power is seeking an amendment of the Special Use Permit to add a 1,280-acre expansion area to the project site. An application has been filed with Maricopa County, and notices have been sent to land owners located within 300 feet of the Mesquite Solar site.