The US Department of Energy has finalized a $337-million loan guarantee for a solar energy project to be located in Arizona, not far from Phoenix.
Mequite Solar 1 is set to be one of the first utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) power plants in the country to use an innovative, US-made transformer-less and liquid-cooled inverter technology. Planners say the technology will allowsfor significant improvements in energy output, a decrease in operating costs and improved reliability.
Sponsored by Sempra Energy, the 150-megawatt (MW) project will be built about 45 miles west of Phoenix. It’s being supported by a power purchase agreement under which the electricity it generates will be sold to the Pacific Gas & Electric Company.
Once complete, Mesquite Solar 1 is expected to generate enough power for nearly 31,000 homes, and to prevent the emissions of more than 200,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide every year. The plant is expected to begin operations in 2013.