SolarReserve 150 MW Arizona solar energy project gets county approval

SolarReserve, a U.S. developer of utility-scale solar power projects, received its special use permit by unanimous decision from the board of supervisors of Maricopa County, Arizona for its Crossroads Solar Energy Project.

The approval includes 150 MW of electrical generating capacity using SolarReserve’s concentrating solar power (CSP) technology and 65 MW of additional solar photovoltaic (PV) technology.

This final approval follows two previous unanimously approved certificates of environmental compatibility from the Arizona Corporation Commission in February 2011 and a successful major comprehensive plan amendment by Maricopa County in December 2010.

The CSP portion of the project uses SolarReserve’s solar energy storage technology; the same technology under construction in SolarReserve’s flagship project, the 110 MW Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project near Tonopah, Nevada.

During construction, the Crossroads project in Arizona is projected to create more than 450 direct jobs during peak construction within the two-year construction period and up to 5,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs, which include offsite supplier and supporting activities.

When complete, the plant will employ at least 45 full-time, permanent operations staff during the project operating life of more than 30 years. With an annual operating budget of up to $10 million per year for salaries and maintenance, the project is forecasted to generate tax revenues throughout the operating period – contributing to workers’ paychecks, as well as local businesses, school systems and police and fire departments.

Located on privately owned and actively cultivated land west of the Town of Gila Bend in Maricopa County, Arizona, the Crossroads Solar Energy Project will supply sbout 500,000 MW annually of renewable electricity to Arizona or California – enough to power up to 100,000 homes during peak electricity periods.

The project will use SolarReserve’s molten salt power tower technology that provides the ability to store 10 hours of solar energy per day and generate renewable energy on demand, even after the sun goes down.

SolarReserve has been actively marketing the power that would be generated by the Crossroads project to utilities in both Arizona and California. SolarReserve aims to enter into a firm transmission agreement for the project with a utility or utilities, which will allow the delivery of the power to California to meet the state’s 33 percent renewable portfolio standards (RPS) requirement.

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