Sempra Generation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) is quickly moving towards the construction phase on a 150 MW photovoltaic (PV) solar power project in Arizona. THe U.S. Department of Energy has awarded the company a US$359.1 loan guarantee for its Mesquite Solar project in Arizona.
Located just 45 miles west of Phoenix, AZ, Mesquite Solar 1, the first phase of the 700-MW Mesquite Solar complex, has taken a giant step towards entering construction phase. Mesquite Solar 1 will employ cutting edge technology that includes liquid cooled and transformerless inverters, which, according to the Department of Energy, will "decrease operating costs, improve reliability, and ultimately create more energy output." When complete, the solar plant will be the first utility scale PV solar farm in the U.S. to use the U.S. manufactured inverters.
In April 2011, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved the 20-year power purchase agreement allowing Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) to purchase the electricity generated by Mesquite Solar 1. With the DOE's recent announcement that it will back the project with a loan guarantee, Sempra Generation has taken a giant step towards realizing its goal to break ground this month.
This is the third loan guarantee the DOE has committed to solar generation projects this week. On Tuesday, the Department awarded both Abengoa Solar Inc and NextEra Energy Resources, LLC with loan guarantees to support the development of California-based solar power projects. In total the DOE has awarded nearly US$2.36 billion this week to support solar power projects that will have a combined generating capacity of 650 MW.
Commenting on supporting Mesquite Solar 1, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said, "Taking advantage of the clean, renewable power in places like Arizona will help strengthen our nation's position as a leader in solar power."
He added, "This innovative photovoltaic facility creates new jobs while producing greater efficiencies that will help make solar energy a more viable and reliable source of power in the future."
Image Credit: Sempra Generation
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.