Abengoa Solar has signed a contract with Arizona Public Service Co. (APS), one of Arizona’s leading energy utilities, to build, own and operate what would be the largest solar power plant in the world if operating today.

The plant, scheduled to go into operation by 2011, is located 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, near Gila Bend, Arizona. It will sell the electricity produced to APS over the next 30 years for a total revenue of around $4 billion, bringing over $1 billion in economic benefits to the state of Arizona.

World’s Largest Solar Plant

The solar plant has been named Solana, meaning “a sunny place” in Spanish. The Solana Generating Station will have a total capacity of 280 megawatts, enough to power 70,000 homes while avoiding over 400,000 tons of greenhouse gases that would otherwise contribute to global warming and climate change. The plant will employ a proprietary Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) trough technology developed by Abengoa Solar, and will cover a surface of around 1,900 acres. The construction of the Solana Generating Station will create about 1,500 construction jobs and employ 85 skilled full-time workers once completed.

Abengoa Solar has a team of 40 people in the United States and Spain dedicated to researching, developing and improving solar technologies. In December 2007, the U.S. Department of Energy selected Abengoa Solar for three research and developments projects to improve trough technology.

The construction of this solar plant and others under contract in the U.S. are subject to a long-term extension of the solar investment tax credit by the U.S. Congress.

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