With this announcement the company has met its target of bringing 42 MW of the project's 150 MW online by the end of the year. Sempra Generation began construction in June 2011, two months after California state regulators approved a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).
Located on 900 acres of land just outside of Phoenix, when complete, Mesquite 1 will employ some 800,000 Suntech Power photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor Zachry Holdings is expected to complete the remaining construction by sometime early 2013.
Mesquite 1 represents the first phase of the Mesquite Solar Complex, which Sempra Generation plans to grow up to 700 MW. Earlier this year Sempra Generation set a goal of increasing its renewable energy portfolio by 1,000 MW by 2015, and according to CEO Jeffery Martin, the company is quickly taking the strides necessary to meet that goal.
For the entire year, Sempra Generation claims to have installed, started construction on, or signed long term PPAs for upwards of 500 MW of solar and wind capacity. Despite this growth, Martin expects 2012 to be an even bigger year for the company in terms of adding new renewable energy generation.
"In 2012, we will embark upon the most aggressive development program in Sempra Generation's history with multiple utility-scale wind and solar projects in construction," he said.
This news comes just two weeks after the company said it would enter the construction phase on its 150 MW Copper Mountain Solar 2 project in Boulder City, Nevada following the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approval of another PPA with PG&E.
Solar developer First Solar, the project's EPC contractor, is expected to complete construction and bring the farm's first 92MW of capacity online by the end of 2012.
Image Credit: Mountain/\Ash via Flickr
Any opinion contained in this article is solely that of the writers, and does not necessarily shape or reflect the editorial opinions of Energy Boom. Energy Boom content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be advice regarding the investment merits of, or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of, any security identified on, or linked through, this site.