Public Service Co. and AMEC, an international engineering and project management company, 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 17 MW is now online, and the remaining 18 MW is scheduled to reach commercial operation by the end of the year. With a capacity of 35 MW, the Foothills Solar Plant will generate enough electricity to power 8,750 local Yuma customers.
The dedication of the first 17 MW 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 700 MW 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 a leader in project management and clean energy development.
“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 18 MW, 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.
APS has a 35-year lease on the land, at a cost of $10 million. The proceeds from land sales and leases of State Trust lands go to the beneficiaries of the State Land Trust, primarily Arizona Common Schools, supporting grades K-12.
AMEC (amec.com) is a focused supplier of consultancy, engineering and project management services to its customers in the world's oil and gas, mining, clean energy, environment and infrastructure markets. With annual revenues of some $6.6 billion, AMEC designs, delivers and maintains strategic and complex assets and employs over 29,000 people in around 40 countries worldwide.
APS (aps.com), Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves more than 1.1 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).