Sempra moves forward with 100-MW expansion of Mesquite Solar farm in Arizona

Sempra U.S. Gas & Power on Sept. 14 announced a 100-MW expansion of its Mesquite Solar complex located in Arlington, Arizona, about 60 miles west of Phoenix.

When completed in late 2016, the expansion, called Mesquite Solar 2, will produce enough power for 45,000 homes. The entire output of the Mesquite Solar 2 expansion has been sold to Southern California Edison under a 20-year power purchase agreement. The contract is subject to approval by the California Public Utilities Commission.

“We are pleased to support Southern California Edison’s commitment to diversify its growing renewable energy portfolio through the development of Mesquite Solar 2,” said Kevin C. Sagara, president of renewables for Sempra U.S. Gas & Power. “The expansion of our landmark Mesquite Solar complex reflects the progressive vision and leadership by the state of Arizona and Maricopa County, and we look forward to delivering a new supply of clean, emission-free energy to California consumers.”

Construction on Mesquite Solar 2 is expected to begin this fall. The 4,000-acre Mesquite Solar complex is among the largest photovoltaic solar facilities in the U.S. By late 2016, the complex’s initial three phases are expected to produce a total of 400 MW.

Sempra said it also expects to complete the 94-MW Copper Mountain Solar 4 project in Nevada during thos same time frame. By year-end 2016, the combined solar power portfolio of projects jointly owned by Sempra U.S. Gas & Power in Arizona and Nevada is expected to grow to more than 1,000 MW.

Sempra U.S. Gas & Power is a leading developer of renewable energy and natural gas solutions with power plants that generate enough electricity for nearly 600,000 homes. Sempra U.S. Gas & Power companies also operate natural gas storage facilities, pipelines and distribution utilities. The company is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE).

Notable is that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Sept. 10 approved a July 1 application from SEP II LLC for authorization for the transfer of undivided interests in certain generator interconnection facilities to its affiliates, Mesquite Solar 2 LLC (MS2) and Mesquite Solar 3 LLC (MS3). The facilities affected consist of: a 34.5/230 kV collector substation and 230 kV generation-tie line approximately four miles in length (Mesquite Solar Generator-tie Facilities); and a 230/500 kV switchyard and associated facilities (Shared Switchyard Facilities).

SEP II is a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Sempra Energy. SEP II owns an undivided interest in the interconnection facilities, which are located in Maricopa County, Arizona. In addition to the interconnection facilities, SEP II holds real estate interests and permits associated with future development of solar photovoltaic generation near the Hassayampa switchyard.

MS2 and MS3 are wholly owned indirect subsidiaries of Sempra Energy.

  • MS2 intends to construct, own and operate a 100-MW solar photovoltaic facility that will be interconnected at the Hassayampa Switchyard.
  • MS3 intends to construct, own and operate a 150-MW solar photovoltaic facility that will also be interconnected at the Hassayampa switchyard.

Sempra Energy reported in its Aug. 4 quarterly Form 10-Q filing that Mesquite Solar, if fully developed, will be capable of producing up to about 700 MW, with 150 MW currently in operation in a joint venture with Con Edison Development. In June 2015, Sempra Renewables signed a 20-year power sale agreement with Southern California Edison for 100 MW of solar power from the second phase of Mesquite Solar. In July 2015, Sempra Renewables signed a 25-year power sale agreement with the Western Area Power Administration for 150 MW from the third phase of Mesquite Solar.

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.