Agua Caliente – Yuma, Arizona

The Agua Caliente Solar Project, a generating facility planned for Eastern Yuma County, Arizona, is being developed by NextLight Renewable Power. It will utilize either solar thermal technology with storage capability (Concentrating Solar Power) with a production capacity of 280 MW or photovoltaic technology with up to 425 MW of peak production capability. The Yuma County Board of Supervisors approved zoning on Sept. 9, 2009 by a unanimous vote of 5-0. Additionally, the AZ Corporation Commission approved a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility permit on Sept. 22, 2009 by a unanimous vote of 5-0. Pacific Gas & Electric has contracted to purchase 290 MW of the project’s output. Construction is planned to begin in 2010. Full commercial operation is planned to occur during 2013 for the solar thermal technology and 2014 for photovoltaic technology.  However, initial energy deliveries for the photovoltaic technology could occur as early as 2012 given the modular nature of the technology.

Project site

  • Located 65 miles east of the City of Yuma, near the communities of Dateland and Hyder.
  • 3,800 acre property currently in agricultural use.
  • 2,400 acres will be utilized for the Project (remaining acreage in agricultural use).

Transmission Access

  • Existing Hassayampa – North Gila 500kV transmission line adjacent to property.
  • New regional switchyard proposed by the transmission owners to be constructed on the site and in service by winter 2011/2012.
  • Proposed Palo Verde – North Gila500kV line in service 2012-2014.
  • No additional offsite transmission infrastructure required.

Benefits

  • According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. electricity demand will grow by 39% from 2005 to 2030, reaching 5.8 billion MWh by 2030.
  • Reducing reliance on fossil fuels through solar energy will lead to greater energy independence.
  • Utilities must meet new renewable energy standards.
  • Solar generation can be a long term hedge against fossil fuel price volatility and a cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Consumers desire emission-free alternatives to fossil fuels.
  • New Arizona jobs, tax revenue, capital investment and economic development.

Next step:

Construction has not begun.  When an Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) contractor is chosen, all vendor, contractor and job applicant inquiries will be handled through the EPC.  That decision will be announced on this page when it occurs.  Until then, vendors and contractors can submit their information for inclusion in a database that will be given to the EPC by going to the ‘Contact Us’ page.  Individual job applicants should check back to this page for information on when and where to submit resumes.

Updates:

  • All major permits received.
  • Pacific Gas & Electric is customer under 25 year Power Purchase Agreement
  • Photovoltaic technology selected by customer (Pacific Gas & Electric)
  • California Public Utilities Commission Staff issued a Resolution is support of Power Purchase Agreement approval on 4/29/10
  • The California Public Utilities Commission will vote on the Power Purchase Agreement on 6/3/10
  • Switchyard Engineering and Procurement Agreement executed and filed with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Interconnection Agreement – expected execution and filing at Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Q2 2010
  • Pre-construction permits in progress with Yuma County
  • Construction contract for early site work under negotiations
  • Engineering Procurement & Construction contract for project under negotiations (updates will be provided)

 

Project Timeline:

MILESTONES ESTIMATED DATE
Early Site Work to Prepare for Utility Switchyard Construction (Access Roads and Grading) June – Sept. 2010
Utility Switchyard Start of Construction October 2010
Solar Field Start of Construction Q4 2010
Full Solar Field Construction 2010

News:

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