Fluor Corporation will make Maricopa County, Arizona, home to a massive 125 MW photovoltaic solar plant, which is set to be completed by the end of 2013.
At 125 MW, the 1.8-square-mile Arlington Valley Solar Energy II (AVSE II) plant will be among the biggest in the world – for the next few years anyway. India has four 1 GW solar projects under construction; China has a 2GW 25-square-mile solar plant that should be completed by 2019; and a 5 GW multi-tech solar plant has been planned for South Africa – not to mention the ten or so plants of 200 and 500 MW in size that are in various stages of planning and construction in and around the United States at the present time. It is boom time for solar panel manufacturers.
John King, executive vice president of LS Power, who awarded the AVSE II contract noted:
The State of California will benefit from the green energy delivered from the project as well as the solar panel sales from a San Diego-based manufacturer for a portion of the project.
To put the size of the AVSE II in perspective with traditional forms of power, most modern nuclear reactors produce about 1GW of electricity, whereas a typical coal power plant will produce around 500MW. In that respect, 125MW does not sound like much at all – but when you combine it with the other big solar projects that are being built around the United States (and the rest of the world) the cumulative effect could be quite substantial.