Solana, a 250-megawatt concentrating solar thermal solar power project that qualified for a $1.5 billion loan guarantee last year, has been under construction by Abengoa Solar west of Gila Bend since December.
Two massive solar energy projects in Arizona that will supply California won final approval for federal loan guarantees by a Sept. 30 deadline, despite controversy over the bankruptcy of loan recipient Solyndra LLC.
Here’s a look at the projects that made it:
• Agua Caliente, a 290 MW photovoltaic solar power project in Yuma County, received a $967 million loan guarantee in August.
That project, majority owned by NRG Energy to supply PG&E, is under construction with thin-film photovoltaic panels supplied by First Solar. It is expected to go online in 2013.
• Mesquite Solar I, a 150-megawatt silicon photovoltaics project in Arlington, about 40 miles west of Phoenix, received a $337 million loan guarantee last week just ahead of the deadline.
The solar power plant’s owner, California-based Sempra Energy, will sell electricity from the plant to Pacific Gas & Electric under a 20-year contract. The company had planned to start construction in June for completion by early 2013.
Meanwhile, Solana, a 250-megawatt concentrating solar thermal solar project that qualified for a $1.5 billion loan guarantee last year, has been under construction by Abengoa Solar west of Gila Bend since December. The solar thermal plant is expected to go online in 2013.
Solana, which will supply power to Arizona Public Service Co., will use trough-like arrays of mirrors to superheat a liquid that creates steam for a turbine generator. A storage component will allow the plant to produce power for hours after the sun goes down.
On another project, ProLogis Inc., the world’s biggest warehouse owner, received a partial U.S. Energy Department guarantee backing a $1.4 billion loan to put photovoltaic systems on about 750 buildings.
Though the DOE listed that project in Arizona, among other states, and ProLogis lists several properties in Arizona, it’s unclear where the solar installations will go. Prologis didn’t respond to inquiries about its plans.
Meanwhile, two major projects with Arizona links – a California solar farm proposed by Tempe-based First Solar and a multistate SolarCity project planned for rooftops of military homes – failed to get final approval after given conditional approvals.
First Solar said it is in talks to sell its proposed 550-megawatt Topaz Solar Farm photovoltaic project in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., to buyers who would finance it without a federal loan guarantee.
SolarCity’s SolarStrong project was listed by the DOE as a project in Arizona, where SolarCity built the nation’s largest military rooftop system at the Soaring Heights Communities at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
SolarCity spokesman Jonathan Bass said the D-M installation is similar to what was proposed for SolarStrong but was not part of the project.
The company plans to go forward with individual elements of SolarStrong with private financing, Bass said.
David Wichner, http://azstarnet.com/