PHOENIX, Ariz., Dec. 11, 2008 – Abengoa Solar has received a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility from the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) to begin construction on its Solana Generating Station solar power plant in Gila Bend, 80 miles southwest of Phoenix. With a capacity of 280 megawatts, this would be the largest solar plant in the world, if in operation today.
Artist's conception of Abengoa Solar's Solana Generating Station in Arizona. Image courtesy of Abengoa Solar.
"We are very pleased with the affirmation of Solana's environmental certificate by the Arizona Corporation Commission," said Kate Maracas, vice president of Arizona Operations for Abengoa Solar. "This landmark ruling has opened a significant door for further development of this commercial-scale solar project that will power tens of thousands of homes and businesses in Arizona."
Abengoa Solar has a Power Purchase Agreement with the Arizona utility APS for the electricity generated by Solana.
"Today's site approval, coupled with the renewal of the federal Investment Tax Credit in October brings us a big step closer to beginning construction on Solana," said Santiago Seage, CEO of Abengoa Solar. "Nevertheless, we still have lots of work ahead of us. We need until the summer of 2009 to obtain the remaining permits and shortly before that we should be ready to finance Solana, once financial markets improve. Solana is a very strong project with financially stable and experienced development partners, but efforts to make the investment tax credit refundable and the current rate case APS is going through are both important for Solana."
The Solana Generating Station will generate enough electricity to power 70,000 homes while avoiding over 475,000 tons a year of greenhouse gases that would otherwise contribute to climate change.
The plant will employ a proprietary Concentrating Solar Power trough technology developed by Abengoa Solar, and will cover a surface of approximately 1,900 acres. The construction of the Solana Generating Station will create around 1,500 construction jobs and employ approximately 85 skilled full-time workers once completed.
For more information, visit: www.abengoa.com