APS, AMEC Partner to Dedicate Foothills Solar Power Plant

Published April 17th 2013 at 1:59pm
Arizona Public Service Co. and AMEC announced today the completion of the first 17 megawatts (MW) of the Foothills Solar Power Plant – the fifth APS AZ Sun facility and the first ever solar project to be built on Arizona State Trust Land.

The plant is being built in two phases: the first 17MW is now online, and the remaining 18MW is scheduled to reach commercial operation by the end of the year. With a capacity of 35MW, the Foothills Solar Plant will generate enough electricity to power 8,750 local Yuma customers.

The dedication of the first 17MW was made today in Yuma, as APS Chairman and CEO Don Brandt spoke to 130 workers onsite.

"Foothills, like all of our AZ Sun facilities, is generating clean, solar energy that is becoming a critical part of our planning to meet the energy needs of APS customers. Beyond the solar energy being generated, these plants also are creating quality jobs for Arizona. Foothills alone has brought more than 100 jobs to the Yuma area," said Brandt. "Arizona now ranks second in the country in solar megawatts installed, and APS is a big part of making Arizona a national leader in solar development. In fact, by the end of this year APS will have almost 700MW of solar energy in our generation portfolio – enough electricity to serve 175,000 Arizona homes."

Resting on 400 acres in Yuma County, Foothills is the first solar facility ever to be built on Arizona State Trust Land. In late 2011, the State Land Department completed extensive work to identify State Trust land sites suitable for solar development. With these locations in mind, they approached APS about building a solar plant on one of these sites. This led to an independent assessment by APS to determine the most suitable development location for the company's next solar plant, which yielded the Foothills project site. The fit was ideal for Arizona and for APS.

The plant was built by Atlanta, Ga.-based AMEC.

"Foothills is the culmination of the hard work and great partnership between AMEC, APS, Yuma County and the State Land Department," said Larry Myers, AMEC Vice President and Executive Sponsor of solar projects. "Over the next eight months, we will continue our efficient and innovative construction process to complete the remaining 18MW, helping Arizona and APS utilize the state's most abundant resource to generate clean energy for its customers."

The AZ Sun Program was approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission and enables APS to invest in the development of solar photovoltaic power plants across Arizona. APS will finance and own the projects, which are being designed and constructed by third-party solar developers, contractors and equipment providers.

Source: APS
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