Sempra fires up first phase of Mesquite solar project

Sempra U.S. Gas & Power said Jan. 8 that it has completed construction of Mesquite Solar 1, the first 150-MW phase of the company’s Mesquite Solar complex in Arlington, Ariz., about 40 miles west of Phoenix.

The photovoltaic project is now operational and ranks among the largest in the U.S., generating enough clean electricity to power about 56,000 homes, the company added. 

“We are pleased to continue the momentum of our solar program with the completion of Mesquite Solar 1 and will now focus on the development of the remaining 4,000-acre complex,” said Jeffrey Martin, president and CEO of Sempra U.S. Gas & Power. “This accomplishment puts us solidly on track to own and operate more than 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by the end of this year. We are excited about the future. This milestone would not have been possible without the strong support of neighboring communities, regulators and local and state elected officials.”

“Arizona continues to lead the nation in the production of clean, renewable solar energy,” said Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. “Projects like Sempra U.S. Gas & Power’s Mesquite Solar 1 not only create clean energy, they also generate quality jobs for Arizonans.”

Construction began in June 2011 and employed more than 450 workers. The power has been sold to Pacific Gas & Electric under a 20-year contract. Future phases planned at the complex could produce up to 700 MW, making it one of North America’s largest solar power installations.

Sempra U.S. Gas & Power is a leading developer of renewable energy and natural gas solutions. It operates solar, wind and natural gas power plants that generate enough electricity for nearly 1 million homes, along with natural gas storage, pipelines and distribution utilities. Sempra U.S. Gas & Power is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE).

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.