As in Australia, sunshine is a plentiful resource in Arizona – and Pima County is increasingly making good use of it.
SunEdison, Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) announced yesterday it has contracted with solar developer SOLON Corporation for a 5 megawatt power purchase agreement (solar PPA); plus a construction and development agreement for 11 solar projects in Pima County.
Solar panel installations will occur at various locations including the Elections Center, some recreation areas, other civic buildings and more than 1,800 solar canopy covered parking spots will be constructed. Collectively, the systems will generate enough electricity to power 800 U.S. households.
“By powering their civic buildings with clean and cost effective solar power, Pima County officials are saving taxpayer dollars and catalyzing economic growth in their community,” stated Rafael Dobrzynski, SunEdison senior vice president and general manager of commercial and industrial solar.
SunEdison is providing its high-performance solar panels, construction financing, development management and construction specifications for the project.
SOLON, a Tucson-based provider of large commercial and utility-scale solar power solutions, originated the project and is performing engineering, procurement, construction (EPC); plus operations and maintenance activities.
The two companies have a solid history of collaboration, having partnered on more than 22 solar projects to date totaling more than 13 megawatts of PV capacity.
Construction of the Pima County projects is slated to commence in the final quarter of this year, with construction on the final site expected to be completed in the second half of 2016.
Pima County, home to close to one million people, is located in the south central region of Arizona. The county actively encourages the uptake of solar through initiatives such as Solar One Stop; a central clearinghouse of regional solar information for residents, businesses, and solar companies.
Most of Pima County’s population is centered in Tucson, which has been recognised as one of the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Solar America Cities; leading cities in solar energy development and promotion.
Growing from just 18.9MW capacity in 2007, Arizona now boasts more than 2,143 MW of solar. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the state ranks second in the country in installed solar; with enough capacity to power 304,000 homes.
Last year, USD $624 million was invested on solar installations in Arizona.
In other SunEdison news, overnight the company announced it will start construction on its first community solar project in Massachusetts; a 2.7 megawatt solar farm in the town of Foxborough. Community solar enables households and businesses to save on electricity bills without needing to have solar panels installed on their property.