[author: Bingham, Matt]
Last week, North Carolina-based Duke Energy announced the purchase of two photovoltaic (PV) solar projects in Arizona with a combined generating capacity of 20 megawatts (MWs). The two projects are the 5 MW Ajo Solar Project in southern Arizona and the 15 MW Bagdad Solar Project near Prescott, Arizona. Both projects were developed by Recurrent Energy, which has been owned by Sharp Corporation for just over one year now. The Ajo facility began commercial operation in September of this year and the larger Bagdad facility is scheduled to achieve commercial operation within the next few weeks. The electricity generated by the projects will be purchased by APS under 25-year power purchase agreements.
The projects are interesting for how they are integrated with nearby mining operations. The land for both the projects is leased from Freeport McMoRan and is considered to have minimal environmental value because it is located adjacent to large tailings piles. At least in the case of the Bagdad project, Freeport will buy the energy back from APS for use in its mining operations.
Both projects were designed and built by AMEC, and will be operated by AMEC for at least for the next five years under contracts with Duke.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Read more here (Phoenix Business Journal) and here (Recurrent blogger).