Sempra U.S. Gas & Power dedicated the 150-MW first phase of the Mesquite Solar facility, located in Arlington, Ariz., about 40 miles west of Phoenix. Sempra says that when it’s complete, the Mesquite Solar Complex will be North America’s largest PV installation. Construction began in June 2011 Pacific Gas & Electric will purchase the output under a 20-year contract. With Mesquite 1 operating, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power’sportfolio reaches 300 MW.
LS Power to officially open the Arlington Valley (AV) Solar II utility-scale installation in southwest Arizona. Kyocera Solar provided 25 MW of solar modules for the 127-MW PV installation. Block 1 of the five-section installation is now live, with the remaining sections expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2013. Once complete, the project’s 127-MW-generating capacity will place it among the largest solar PV installations in North America.
PUCs are concerned that a rapid shutdown of coal-fired plants will start a full-tilt dash to gas—similar to the one that caused bankruptcies among independent power producers in the late 1990s and early 2000s. But this time around, ratepayers and not IPP investors will be stuck with the risk, if utilities rush to add all that new gas-fired capacity to rate base.
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