Salt River Project and Iberdrola Renewables have signed a 25-year power purchase agreement for 20 megawatts of solar photovoltaic energy from a Pinal County facility. SRP will purchase all of the solar energy produced at the Copper Crossing Solar Ranch, which is expected to be online by June 2011.
The solar energy will be produced using photovoltaic panels and will produce an amount of energy equal to that needed to serve about 3,100 SRP customers’ homes.
“From wind power to solar, our partnership with Iberdrola Renewables has resulted in thousands of SRP customers benefiting from clean, renewable energy,” said SRP General Manager Richard Silverman.
“Iberdrola Renewables is delighted to partner for the third time with SRP, this time for one of the largest utility-scale projects in Arizona,” said Martin Mugica, executive vice president of Iberdrola Renewables. “SRP has been a leader in bringing clean, renewable energy to Arizona, by purchasing the output of the first commercial-scale wind farms in the state and now with this, one of Iberdrola Renewables’ first solar projects.”
SRP has purchased property located between Quail Run Lane and Attaway Road, and between Judd Road and Bella Vista Road,and will lease a portion of the property to Copper Crossing for the development of the solar facility. The property is adjacent to the Abel receiving station.
Iberdrola Renewables’ experience as one of the nation’s leading wind power project developers and operators has prepared the company to develop and deliver a variety of solar technology solutions. The power purchase agreement with SRP, from what is expected to be one of Iberdrola Renewables’ first solar projects in the U.S., signals the company’s expansion into the solar power business for its utility customers, and it does so with a long term contract from a repeat customer.
The new solar plant will be the third large renewable power project in which SRP has partnered with Portland, Oregon-based Iberdrola Renewables – the Dry Lake Wind Farm Phase 1 was dedicated as Arizona’s first commercial-scale, wind power project in October 2009, and Phase 2 is scheduled to be complete by early 2011.
Iberdrola Renewables also announced a 30 MW solar power sale in Colorado yesterday, for another project slated to begin construction this year. The two combined renewable power purchase agreements mark the worldwide renewables leader’s entrance into the U.S. solar power sector. With a proven track record in wind power, the company plans to bring these 50 megawatts of emission-free solar power to commercial operation by the end of next year.
Salt River Project is the third-largest public power utility in the country and serves more than 930,000 electric customers through a variety of resources including solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and hydroelectricity. In 2004, SRP’s Board of Directors voted to require that 15 percent of the energy generated comes from sustainable resources by 2025. Today, SRP’s sustainable portfolio is 6.5 percent of the total power provided to our customers.