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APS Planning New Solar Plant In AZ

Wed, 11/23/2011 - 7:26am

YUMA, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona Public Service has unveiled plans to develop a new solar plant in Yuma that will provide 17 megawatts of power, or enough for 4,250 homes.

The Yuma Sun (http://bit.ly/s9EYCH ) reports the plant site is in east Yuma on property provided by the utility company. It consists of 357 acres, with about 200 acres designated for development of the facility.

"We are soliciting bids. Once developed, the developer will turnkey it over to APS," said APS Vice President of Energy Delivery Daniel Froetzcher.

The plant will be owned and operated by APS when completed in 2013.

In watching the growth in southwest Arizona, APS foresees a need for additional capacity.

"That's what we're working on now," Froetzcher said. "Yuma has been growing pretty steady. Last three years or so, Yuma has been the strongest area of growth from the APS perspective."

APS plans to finance the project through the company's AZ Sun Program, which was approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission in March 2010. It authorizes APS to develop and own 100 megawatts of photovoltaic generation with an investment of up to $500 million between 2010 and 2014.

The proposed project is similar to the solar plant being built in Hyder, 40 miles east of Yuma, which will provide 17 megawatts of power.

The utility constantly tries to forecast the community's needs through "living" 10-year plans, said Froetzcher, that anticipate major infrastructure needs and reserve demands.

The utility says the solar project in Yuma fits with Corporation Commission requirements calling for at least 15 percent of generation to come from renewable resources.

"This has spurred our involvement in wind and solar technologies," Froetzcher said.

APS has partnered in several other solar projects throughout Arizona, including the 280-megawatt Solana and 17-megawatt Paloma and Cotton Center solar power plants in Gila Bend.

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