Black & Veatch picked by APS to build 32-MW solar project

Arizona Public Service (APS) has selected Black & Veatch to design and build a new solar photovoltaic facility – the 32-MW Gila Bend Solar Power Plant, part of its AZ Sun Program.

Construction will begin in October 2013 with project completion expected in June 2014, APS said in an April 4 statement. The nine-month project will bring more than 150 jobs to Arizona.

“The Gila Bend Plant is just one more example of APS’s commitment to solar energy. APS-owned, utility-scale solar is good for customers, the solar industry and the state of Arizona,” said Barbara Lockwood, APS General Manager of Energy Innovation. “The Gila Bend Plant, just like all of our solar facilities, is being built by a third-party solar developer. Black & Veatch was selected through a competitive bidding process, helping to ensure a cost-effective price for our customers. In addition, this project is bringing significant economic benefits to Arizona, including high-quality jobs.”

Located on 400 acres in Gila Bend, Ariz., the project will have more than 170,000 single-axis tracker polycrystalline modules that will generate enough solar energy to power 8,000 Arizona homes and businesses. The single-axis tracker design enables the solar panels to follow the sun across the sky.

“APS is a leader in solar development in Arizona – providing opportunities for solar developers and installers, creating valuable jobs for the industry and helping to create a sustainable energy future for their customers,” said Dean Oskvig, President and CEO, B&V Energy, Black & Veatch.

The Gila Bend Plant will be the seventh AZ Sun facility to break ground. With AZ Sun, APS is investing in the development of photovoltaic power plants across the state. APS currently has 86 MW of AZ Sun projects in service, along with 64 MW under construction or in development. AZ Sun is one piece of APS’s diverse solar portfolio, which includes third-party owned power purchase agreements, utility-scale APS owned facilities and customer-owned rooftop installations.

APS, 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 (NYSE: PNW).

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.