All News08. February 2011
SOLON and TEP unveil 1.6 MW Solar Power Plant in Tucson
Array from SOLON is TEP’s largest local solar resource
Tucson-based SOLON Corporation, one of the largest providers of turnkey solar power plants and manufacturer of crystalline silicon solar modules in the U.S, today announced the completion of a 1.6 megawatt (MW) solar power plant in Tucson in conjunction with Tucson Electric Power Company (TEP). As TEP’s largest local solar resource, the array will provide a faster, more cost effective way for TEP to integrate solar power into its renewable energy portfolio for Tucson residents.
TEP will provide the output of this array directly to customers through its new Bright Tucson Community Solar program. The program will allow customers to purchase solar energy in 150 kWh “blocks,” providing an easy and affordable way to reduce or eliminate their use of conventional power. The solar power plant is in the new Solar Zone at the University of Arizona (UA) Science and Technology Park, and consists of a single-axis tracking system featuring SOLON’s Velocity MW system. TEP will own and operate the solar production facility.
SOLON’s Velocity MW Solar System provides preconfigured, compact one-megawatt modular solar clusters. Engineered with utilities in mind, the Velocity MW system provides a streamlined concept that results in a reduced number of individual components, fewer connections, and significantly less time spent on installation and maintenance. In total, over 5,800 Tucson, AZ manufactured panels on 11 SOLON single-axis trackers make up this system. This proprietary tracking design enables the solar panels to follow the sun throughout the day, allowing the plant to produce up to 25% more output than a traditional fixed-tilt system.
“SOLON developed the Velocity MW System specifically with utilities such as TEP in mind – the system’s modular design will help utilities quickly scale to capacity while increasing energy output over the life of the system,” said Dan Alcombright, Regional Vice President and General Manager at SOLON. “We are proud to help TEP bring convenient and affordable solar power to customers right here in Tucson, and to see the system become operational today.”
“At TEP, we’re continuously seeking out new opportunities to expand the use of solar power in Tucson,” said Paul Bonavia, Chairman, President and CEO of TEP and its parent company, UniSource Energy Corporation (NYSE: UNS). “SOLON’s modular, turnkey solution will allow us to offer solar power to our customers at an affordable price through a new program that has the potential to greatly expand the local market for clean, green power.”
SOLON provided engineering, procurement and construction services for the system. Construction on the 1.6 MW system, which spans 14 acres, began in October 2010, and concluded in December 2010. The array is expected to produce approximately 3,000,000 kWh in first-year output, and approximately 60,000,000 kWh over 20-years.
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