U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced the approval of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Quartzsite Solar Energy Project located in La Paz County, Ariz. With this authorization, SolarReserve, a U.S. developer of large-scale solar power projects, is proceeding with the development of its 100 megawatt project, located on Bureau of Land (BLM) managed land. The Quartzsite Project will be utilizing SolarReserve’s concentrated solar power (CSP) technology with integrated storage which allows the facility to operate like a conventional power plant, but without the environmental damage from emissions and waste.
With more than $600 million of direct investment in Arizona, the Quartzsite Solar Energy Plant will generate approximately 440 jobs during peak construction and 50 full-time jobs for operations and maintenance. In addition, the project is expected to create local economic stimulus in the form of $15.7 million in sales tax during the construction period, with construction spending injecting another $46.3 million into the local and regional economy.
“The BLM has done a tremendous job of administering a rigorous and fair permitting process for this project,” said Kevin Smith, CEO of SolarReserve. “We appreciate the agency’s support of this and other renewable energy projects that are critical to reducing harmful emissions from conventional power plants while creating real employment opportunities. The Quartzsite project will be SolarReserve’s second major project successfully permitted on BLM land which demonstrates that industry and government can collaborate effectively.”
The Quartzite Solar Energy Project has completed all major permitting necessary for advancing the project into construction and is actively engaged in power marketing efforts. The project is slated to begin construction in 2014, once a Power Purchase Agreement has been contracted and financing for the project complete.
The project is ideally situated to deliver power into either California or Arizona according to Tom Georgis, Senior Vice President of Development. “As more and more variable resources such as wind and PV are placed onto the transmission grid; dispatchable generation such as Quartzsite with its integrated energy storage, can support grid reliability and security by firming and shaping these intermittent resources”