Solar Power Plants in the USA - Arizona and Nevada
Agua Caliente Phase
Location: AZ
Operator: NRG Solar
Configuration: 290 MWp PV
Operation: 2012-2014
System supplier: First Solar
EPC: First Solar
Quick facts: Agua Caliente was built on a 2,400ac site in Dateland between Yuma and Phoenix. It was developed by First Solar and acquired by NRG in Aug 2011. MidAmerican Energy Holdings acquired a 49% stake in Jan 2012 shortly before the first phase went online. Output is sold to Pacific Gas and Electric through a 25yr PPA. Full capacity was reached 290 MW in Apr 2014, at which time Agua Caliente became the largest PV power station in the world.  The project received a $967mn loan guarantee from the US Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office.

Photograph courtesy of NRG Energy
Re-posted 30 Apr 2014

Avra Valley
Location: AZ
Operator: NRG Solar
Configuration: 25 MWp PV
Operation: 2012
T/G supplier: First Solar
EPC: First Solar
Quick facts: This solar farm is on 300ac of former farmland in the Avra Valley area northwest of Tucson. The project cost about $100mn and was opened on 13 Dec 2012. NRG has a 20yr PPA with Tucson Electric for the electricty.

Photograph courtesy of NRG
Posted 18 Dec 2012

Location: AZ
Operator: Apple Inc
Configuration: 50 MW
Operation: 2016
System supplier: ??
EPC: E Light Electric Services Inc
Quick facts:This SPP completed in Sep 2016. It is connected to the Salt River Project transmission system. SRP will puchase output at wholesale for the term of a 25yr PPA. The 300ac site is in Florence, Pinal Co, east of Apple's data center in Mesa.

Photograph courtesy of Apple Inc
Posted 23 Sep 2016

Copper Mountain
Location: NV
Operator: Sempra Energy
Configuration: 55 MWp PV
Operation: 2008-2010
T/G supplier: First Solar
EPC: First Solar
Quick facts: At completion in Dec 2010, this was the largest PV power station in North America. It is located on 380ac near Sempra's El Dorado CCGT plant in Boulder City and required no new large-scale transmission infrastructure. The land is leased from Boulder City and is part of the city's Energy Zone. Copper Mountain was built out in stages and now consists of 775,000 thin-film panels.

Photograph courtesy of First Solar
Re-posted 8 Dec 2010

Crescent Dunes
Location: NV
Operator: SolarReserve LLC
Configuration: 1 X 110 MW
Operation: 2016
System supplier: BrightSource
Solar boiler supplier: Lointek
T/G supplier: Alstom
EPC: Cobra, IDOM
Quick facts: This project is on a 1,600ac site near Tonopah and began commissioning on 12 Feb 2014. It is the world's largest solar tower plant with fuly-integrated molten salt energy storage. SolarReserve has a 25yr PPA with NV Energy for 100% of plant output, estimated to be 500 GWH/yr and delivered by a 9.5mi tie-line. Ground-breaking was in Apr 2011. The $983mn project closed financing in Sep 2011, and secured a $737mn loan from USDOE, which was used with private financing from SolarReserve, ACS Cobra, and Banco Santander. The project has over 17,000 tracking heliostats with over 1mn m² of glass. The tower is 653ft tall. Flowserve supplied the molten salt pumps that move material at up to 565˚C.

Photograph courtesy of SolarReserve LLC
Posted 14 Feb 2014

Davis-Monthan AFB
Location: AZ
Operator:  MIC Solar Energy Holdings LLC
Configuration: 16.4 MWp PV
Operation: 2014
System supplier: SunEdison
EPC: SunEdison
Quick facts: This plant commissioned on 20 Feb 2014 as the largest solar energy facility at any U.S. Department of Defense installation. It is expected to reduce the Air Force's utility costs by $500,000/yr for the next 25yrs. The scheme was put in place by a public-private consortium including The North American Development Bank (NADB), MIC Solar Energy Holdings LLC Chevron Energy Solutions, and local officials. MIC Solar Energy Holdings took ownership of the project and the SunEdison Renewable Operation Center (ROC) will manage operations under contract to MIC. The plant covers around 170ac. The capex was not revealed.

Photograph courtesy of SunEdison
Posted 22 Feb 2014

Estrella Foothills High School
Location: AZ
Operator: Constellation Energy
Configuration: 1.604 MWp
Operation: 2012
System supplier: Suntech
EPC: Natural Power and Energy LLC, CORE Construction
Quick facts: In Jan 2012, Constellation Energy and the Buckeye Union High School District completed a 4.29-MW solar project at three high schools. The installations collectively meet up to 70% of the school district's electricity needs and were developed by GV Enterprises and REgeneration Finance. The school district will purchase all of the electricity generated by the solar panels at a fixed rate from Constellation Energy under a 25yr solar services agreement.

Photograph courtesy of CORE Construction
Posted 23 Jun 2012

Location: AZ
Operator: Tessera Solar
Configuration: 1.5 MW
Operation: 2009
System supplier: Tessera Solar, Sterling Energy
EPC: Mortenson
Quick facts: The Maricopa Solar installation is on a site just north of Salt River Project’s Agua Fria power station in Peoria. This is a full-scale demonstration project with 60, 38ft SunCatcher dishes, each of which concentrates sunlight to drive a hydrogen-powered, 250-kW  Stirling engine. The plant was commissioned on 22 Jan 2010after about 4mos of construction. NTR plc controls Tessera Solar and Stirling Energy Systems. Several much larger SunCatcher plans are in design.

Photograph courtesy of Salt River Project
Posted 23 Jan 2010

Nellis AFB
Location: NV
Operator: MMA Renewable Ventures LLC
Configuration: 14 MWp PV
Operation: 2007
System supplier: SunPower Corp
EPC: SunPower Corp
Quick facts: This PV system is designed to provide about a quarter of the electricity needs of Nellis AFB located northeast of Las Vegas. The PV arrays cover 140ac of land and include 72,000 panels mounted on single-axis tracking systems. These follow the sun throughout the day and producing up to 30% more electricity than typical fixed-position solar panels. MMA financed and operates the plant, selling power to the USAF at a guaranteed fixed rate for the next 20yrs. Nevada Power also supported the project by buying all the Renewable Energy Credits generated, thereby helping the utility to meet its renewable energy requirements.

Photograph courtesy of U.S. Air Force
Posted 22 Dec 2007

Prescott Airport
Location: AZ
Operator: Arizona Public Service
Configuration: 1,450 kWp PV
Operation: 2002-2003
System supplier: ??

Photograph courtesy of Power
Posted 25 Feb 2004

Nevada Solar One
Location: NV
Operator: Acciona Solar Power Inc
Configuration: 1 X 64-MW CSP system
Operation: 2007
T/G supplier: Siemens
EPC: Lauren
Quick facts: At completion, this was the largest CSP plant built in the last 15yrs. It was developed by Solargenix Energy and completed by Acciona. In Jul 2007, Acciona closed $266mn of long-term project financing deal for the project, the first leveraged lease structured financing for a CSP plant in the U.S. Debt participants were Banco Santander, BBVA, and CAIXA Geral de Depositos while equity investors included JPMorgan, Northern Trust, and Wells Fargo. All electricity production is sold to Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Power under long-term PPAs. Boulder City leased the 400ac plant site for the project. On about 350ac are 76km of parabolic arrays with about 219,000 mirrors concentrating the sun's rays over 18,000 receiver tubes. A working fluid heats up to 400 °C and is used to produce steam and drive a conventional T/G set.

Photograph courtesy of Acciona Energia
Posted 15 Aug 2007

Queen Creek
Location: AZ
Operator: PSEG Solar Source LLC
Configuration: 25.2 MWp
Operation: 2012
System supplier: ??
EPC: juwi
Quick facts: The Queen Creek Solar farm is on a 148ac site, 30mi southeast of Phoenix.Construction began in Jan 2012 and COD was 4 Oct 2012. Salt River Project has a 20yr PPA for the project. The project has about 90,000 solar panels on single-axs trackers and production is expected to be 54 GW/h/yr.

Photograph courtesy of PSEG
Posted 20 Oct 2012

Saguaro Solar
Location: AZ
Operator: Arizona Public Service Co
Configuration: 1.35-MW ORC CSP system
Operation: 2005
System supplier: Ormat
EPC: Solargenix, Ormat
Quick facts: Picked as one of Power's Top Plants in 2006, this project is a precursor to a second generation of parabolic solar trough technology. APS partnered with Sandia National Laboratories and NREL for technical support and project evaluation. Operation will be monitored as part of the US DOE Solar Technology Program.  The installation covers about 13ac and has 111,300 sq ft of collectors designed to produce 2 GWH/yr.

Photograph courtesy of Power
Posted 6 Sep 2006

Location: AZ
Operator: sPower
Configuration: 45 MW
Operation: 2016
System supplier: Jinko
EPC: Blymyer Engineers, Swinerton
Quick facts: This SPP Has 182,000 panels using single-axis tracking systems on a 300ac site in Florence. Tax equity financing was provided by Wells Fargo. The project has a 21yr PPA with Salt River Project. Construction started in Jul 2015 and completed in Feb 2016.

Photograph courtesy of Salt River Project
Posted 15 Feb 2016

SGS Solar
Location: AZ
Operator: Tucson Electric Power Co
Configuration: 4.59 MWp PV
Operation: 2001-2005
System supplier: ASE, First Solar, BP Solar
Quick facts: At completion, this was one of the larger groundmount PV plants in the USA. The installation now has almost 35,000 modules with Xantrex inverter on a 44ac site near the Springerville coal-fired power plant. The original plan was for a build-out to 8 MWp.

Photograph courtesy of Tucson Electric Power
Re-posted 30 Dec 2009

Silver State North
Location: NV
Operator: Enbridge Corp
Configuration: 50 MWp
Operation: 2012
System supplier: First Solar
EPC: First Solar
Quick facts: On 7 May 2012, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar officiated at the offical opening of this first completed, large-scale solar project on U.S. public lands. The project has 800,000 thin-film modules on a 600ac site on BLM land near Primm, NV. It was developed and built by First Solar and acquired by Enbridge in Mar 2012. NV Energy has a 25yr PPA for the output from the Silver State North scheme.

Photograph courtesy of Enbridge
Posted 27 May 2012

Location: AZ
Operator: Abengoa Solar
Configuration: 2 X 140 MW
Operation: 2013
T/G supplier: Siemens
EPC: Abengoa
Quick facts: At completiuon, Solana was the world's largest parabolic trough plant and the first such plant in the USA with thermal energy storage allowing for full-load production for up to 6hrs after sunset. Arizona Public Service purchases the full output from Solana, which is about 70mi southwest of Phoenix. The plant has 2,700 parabolic trough mirrors, which heat a synthetic oilto 735 degrees F. The heat transfer fluid then flows to steam boilers. The thermal energy storage system includes six pairs of hot and cold tanks with a capacity of 125,000 mt of salt kept at a minimum temperature of 530 degrees F. The total investment was about $2bn and Abengoa obtained a $1.45bn federal loan guarantee from the US DOE Federal Loan Guarantee Program. The plant went commercial on 7 Oct 2013.

Photograph courtesy of Abengoa
Posted 10 Oct 2013

Tempe South WWTP
Location: AZ
Operator: Salt River Project
Configuration: 924 kWp PV
Operation: 2014
System supplier: ??
EPC: Solar City
Quick facts: This project was a JV of the City of Tempe, SRP and Solar City. Production is expected to be 1.6 MWh/yr, about 15% of the wastewater treatment plants annual demand. It became Tempe's largest solar project.

Photograph courtesy of Salt River Project
Posted 7 May 2014


Data: industcards, Platts UDI World Electric Power Plants Data Base

Updated 23-Sep-2016