In September 2011, the Department of Energy issued a $337 million loan guarantee to finance Mesquite 1, a 170-MW photovoltaic (PV) solar generation project. The project reached full commercial operations in June 2013 and was one of the first utility-scale PV solar projects to begin operating in the United States.
The project was one of the first projects to use Advanced Energy’s Solaron 500 (renamed AE 500NX) inverter. Given the project’s success, a neighboring large utility-scale PV project, currently under construction, has opted to use the AE 500NX inverter. Mesquite minimizes use of Arizona’s scarce water resources. The innovative inverter supplied by Advanced Energy—a U.S. manufacturer based in Fort Collins, Colorado—is modular in design with liquid cooling, which makes its application in a desert facility ideal. The inverter is capable of up to 1.45 DC/AC ratios and does not require an enclosure to keep cool. Because of its bi-polar design, this inverter does not require a built-in transformer, an item normally required by other inverters supporting PV projects in this class. This technology increases the project’s efficiency and reduces its footprint size and costs.
Mesquite 1 created 300 construction jobs and is expected to support 12 permanent jobs.
Mesquite 1 is expected to generate 328,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy per year. It is expected to prevent 190,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
Sempra Energy & Consolidated Edison Development
Maricopa County, Arizona
Loan Amount 1
Projected Annual Generation 2
Permanent U.S. Jobs Supported
U.S. Construction Jobs Supported 3
CO2 Emissions Prevented Annually
190,000 Metric Tons
All information up-to-date as of June 2017.
1 Approximate amount of the loan facility approved at closing including principal and any capitalized interest.
2 Calculated using the project's and NREL Technology specific capacity factors. For cases in which NREL's capacity factors do not encompass project's specific design and operation, project specific capacity factors are used.
3 Estimated at the time of closing.