Arizona Co. Eyes Imperial Valley for World's Largest Solar Energy System
An Arizona company wants to build the world's largest solar energy system in the Imperial Valley. The company says the solar generation facility will provide electricity for about half a million homes
An Arizona company wants to build the world's largest solar energy system in the Imperial Valley. The company says the solar generation facility will provide electricity for about half a million homes in the San Diego region. KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce has the story.
Imagine 30,000 solar dishes stretching 38 feet tall and 40 feet wide sitting on desert land. That's exactly what Stirling Energy Systems has proposed building on 6,500 acres of desert land west of El Centro.
Bob Lidon is with Stirling Energy Systems. He says the first phase of the project would provide enough electricity for about 150,000 homes.
Lidon: We'll connect to the Southwest Powerlink that is already an existing San Diego Gas and Electric transmission line. And that can accommodate the first 300 megawatts, which is our first phase.
Lidon says the second phase includes another 18,000 solar dishes. That part of the project would tie into SDG&E's proposed Sunrise Powerlink transmission line.
And the solar project is expected to generate more than megawatts.
Lidon: It offers an opportunity to provide a lot of jobs for both the Imperial County and people probably from San Diego as well.
The company expects the project to generate about 700 construction jobs and 160 permanent jobs.
Lidon says if approved by federal and state regulators, construction on the solar project could start late next year.
Ed Joyce, KPBS News.