Mesquite Solar 1

Mesquite Solar 1

Mesquite Solar 1 is the first phase of the 4000-acre Mesquite Solar complex, one of the largest photovoltaic solar power installations in North America. The plant was among the first in the country to use liquid-cooled inverter technology, which was the basis for receiving a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy in support of the project.

Mesquite Solar 1 became one of the few solar facilities in the U.S. – and the first in Arizona – to receive a “Voluntary Protection Programs Star” work site designation from the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The award is the organization’s highest recognition for exemplary safety performance.

Renewable power from Mesquite Solar 1 is sold to California’s Pacific Gas & Electric under a 20-year contract. Mesquite Solar 1 is a jointly owned by Sempra Renewables and Consolidated Edison Development.

Benefits

Created about 530 local construction jobs at peak and 10 full-time positions

Requires no water to generate electricity, saving this precious resource for other needs

A portion of the panels utilized at Mesquite Solar 1 are manufactured in Arizona

Built on previously disturbed land near existing power plants and transmission lines

Reduces greenhouse gases by about 274,000 tons annually, the equivalent of taking approximately 57,500 cars off the road

Project Photo 2
Project Photo 3

According to Mark A. McCall, Executive Director of the Loan Programs Office, the Mesquite Solar 1 was one of the first six plants that benefited from financing under the Section 1705 Loan Program, made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Mesquite Solar 1, a 170 MW project in Arizona, received $337 million in financing. A total of $4.6 billion was given out under the Loan Guarantee Program, which came to an end in 2011.