APS announces plans for Hyder II Solar Plant
More solar power generating activity is coming to Yuma County with the announcement that the permitting process has begun for a new solar photovoltaic facility — the Hyder II Solar Power Plant.
Construction on Hyder II, a 14-megawatt facility, is scheduled to begin in April with commercial operations expected to be online by December 2013, announced Arizona Public Service Co.
Hyder II will sit adjacent to the existing 16-MW Hyder plant, which is located on the eastern edge of Yuma County about 15 miles north of Interstate 8 off Agua Caliente Road. Hyder I went online in October 2011.
Located on 240 acres, the new project will include more than 71,000 single-axis tracker PV panels that will generate enough solar energy to power more than 3,500 Arizona homes. The single-axis tracker design enables the solar panels to follow the sun across the sky.
McCarthy Building Cos. has been selected to construct the facility, the third solar project the contractor has worked on for APS. The project will bring 150 local construction jobs.
Hyder II is the sixth AZ Sun Project for APS, said Barbara Lockwood, APS general manager of energy innovation.
The AZ Sun Program was approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission and enables APS to invest in the development of up to 200 MW of solar photovoltaic plants across Arizona. APS will finance and own the projects, which are being designed and constructed by third-party solar developers, contractors and equipment providers.
The five-year AZ Sun program will create more than 2,000 Arizona construction jobs. With Hyder II, the program has 68 MW under development that also includes the 35-MW Foothills Solar Plan in Yuma County and a 19-MW solar plant in Chino Valley.
Work began last month on the Foothills project, located on 400 acres of state land off 40th Street between Foothills Boulevard and Fortuna Road. APS has hired Atlanta, Ga.-based AMEC to construct the facility. During construction, the project will create more than 100 jobs.
The Foothills plant is expected to come online in two phases — the first 17 MW will reach commercial operation by March 2013; the remaining 18 MW will reach commercial operation by December 2013. When fully operational, it will generate enough power for approximately 8,700 homes. The power will serve Yuma-area customers.
In addition, APS issued a request for proposal in August for another 32-MW solar plant to be constructed in Gila Bend. When completed in 2014, the new Gila Bend plant will provide electricity to more than 8,000 Arizona homes.
The AZ Sun Program already has placed 50 MW online, two 17-MW plants in Gila Bend and the 16-MW Hyder I.