Tonopah Solar Energy Project - Artist Rendering

Key Project Benefits:

  • 150 MW of clean, renewable and sustainable energy; 450,000 MWh annually
  • Highly predictable and dependable fuel supply: 95% availability, 100% dispatchability, load following
  • Incorporates energy storage to provide operating stability for the grid and a cost effective way to meet Arizona’s peak electricity demand profile
  • Boost the local economy by creating up to 450 construction jobs, and also significant property tax revenues that will benefit the local community and region

Solar Facility Key Elements:

  • Large circular field of mirrors (heliostats) that reflect the sun’s energy onto a central receiver tower
  • A conventional steam turbine generator to produce electricity
  • Insulated tanks to store the hot and cold liquid salt heat transfer fluid
  • The solar plant will utilize a wet cooled system, which will enhance performance during peak electricity demand periods and significantly reduce the current water consumption in the area.

Quick Facts:

1.25 miles north of the intersection of Interstate 8 and Paloma Road
Concentrating Solar Thermal with Storage
150 MW
Water Use:
4 square miles (private land)
~9 miles

Maricopa County Comprehensive Plan Amendment (approval December 2010)

  • Because a solar facility is not in compliance with current Maricopa County Comprehensive Plan, a Comprehensive Plan Amendment is required in concert with the Special Use Permit.

Arizona Corporation Commission Certificate of Environmental Compatibility (approval February 2011)

  • Before a thermal solar facility can be built, an application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility must be approved by the Arizona Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Committee and the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Major Permitting Requirements: Maricopa County Special Use Permit (expected 2012)

  • Because a solar facility does not fall under standard Maricopa County zoning districts, this permit is required.