Grid Scale, Solar

APS & Starwood Partner on 290-MW CSP Plant

Arizona Public Service (APS) and Starwood Energy Group Global LLC announced plans to build a 290-megawatt concentrating solar power (CSP) plant in the Harquahala Valley, 75 miles west of Phoenix.

Scheduled for completion in 2013, Starwood Solar I will be owned by an affiliate of Starwood Energy with all the electricity generated by the facility provided to APS through a long-term purchase power agreement (PPA). Lockheed Martin will design, build and operate the facility.

Starwood Solar I will be constructed on approximately 1,900 acres and include 3,500 parabolic mirrors that will focus solar thermal energy onto a heat transfer fluid. The hot fluid will convert water into steam, which will then turn the plant’s turbines to create electricity, much like a traditional power plant. The plant will also use molten salt to store solar energy and continue producing electricity for up to six hours after the sun goes down, which coincides with the period of highest electricity usage during hot Arizona evenings.

“This is yet another meaningful step in making Arizona the solar capital of the world,” said APS chairman and chief executive officer Don Brandt.

In addition, this is the second PPA by APS for energy from a concentrating solar plant. In February 2008, APS signed an agreement with Abengoa Solar for the power from the to-be-built 280-megawatt Solana Solar Plant. With Solana, Starwood Solar I and other contractual agreements, APS expects to have 800 megawatts of energy in its renewable energy portfolio in 2014.