Even before construction has started on a solar energy farm in Queen Creek, the planned facility has been sold for $75 million.
New Jersey-based PSEG Solar Source will buy the 19 megawatt plant and will sell electricity to Salt River Project for 20 years. PSEG bought the planned facility from its developer, Colorado-based juwi solar Inc. The plant will be maintained and operated by juwi after construction.
The town of Queen Creek has already approved the 158-acre facility, and construction is expected to begin this month. The site should begin operating in the third quarter.
This is the fourth juwi-built plant in the U.S. and the first one in Arizona. SRP has worked with several manufacturers and only does deals with known companies that have a proven track record like juwi, said Debbie Kimberly, SRP's director of customer programs and marketing.
The construction will generate 120 jobs, said Paul Rosengren, a PSEG spokesman. The plant will be monitored remotely without having employees on site.
This is the third Valley solar facility providing energy for SRP. It also is purchasing power from a just-announced 1 megawatt facility at Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus in Mesa. Also, it's buying power from the 20 megawatt Copper Crossing facility in Pinal County.
The sites are idea because they're near existing power lines, Kimberly said.
"The advantage of the East Valley for us, if you've been out there, is it's just as flat as a pancake. You've got a lot of available land and it's well situated in terms of distribution and transmission," Kimberly said.
SRP provides about 9 percent of energy with sustainable resources that include solar, wind, geothermal, hydro power and various conservation measures. It has a goal of 20 percent in 2020.
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