It was last October when Sempra Generation first announced it had entered into a 20-year power-purchase agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to sell 150 megawatts of solar power produced at its Mesquite Solar 1 project in Arizona. That contract was subject to approval by the California Public Utilities Commission, however, so construction has been on hold It’s been about a six month wait but now, according to Sempra, the contract has been approved and the company is ready to move forward with construction.
At this time, Sempra expects to begin construction on the fist phase of the Mesquite complex in June. During peak construction, the project is expected to generate about 300 jobs. Presently the facility is slated to be completed in 2013.
Mesquite 1 is being erected roughly 40 miles west of Phoenix near Arlington, Arizona and is just the first of several phases that will comprise an entire complex anticipated to produce up to 700 megawatts of power.
According to Sempra, this first phase is expected to produce about 150 watts and, once operational, would become the nation’s largest solar power plant. Sempra’s 48 megawatt Copper Mountain Solar facility located in Boulder City, Nevada is currently reported to be among the largest, but the Mesquite project will well overshadow it once complete.