Sempra Selects Suntech and Zachry for Large Arizona Solar Plant

Sempra Generation has selected Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP) and EPC provider Zachry Holdings, Inc. to design and construct the first phase of the massive Mesquite Solar project in Arizona.

The renewable electricity generated at Mesquite Solar 1 will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric (NYSE: PCG) under a 150 MW, 20-year power purchase agreement pending California Public Utilities Commission approval. Construction on Mesquite Solar 1 is slated to begin in mid-2011, with completion by 2013. The solar facility is expected to create more than 200 local solar jobs for construction and installation.

The planned capacity for the entire Mesquite complex is 700 MW. No timeline was given for build-out beyond phase 1.

Zachry will oversee the installation and integration of more than 800,000 Suntech multi-crystalline solar panels at the site. Zachry has a long history buidling industrial projects and is now diversifying its energy portfolio of projects to include solar and other types of renewable energy.

"We are excited about continuing our relationship with Sempra and working with Suntech – the world’s largest producer of solar panels – to create hundreds of green jobs and promote sustainable economic development," said Steve Dedman, senior vice president of Zachry Holdings, Inc. "When completed this will be one of the largest solar plants in the world."

The solar power plant will be constructed about 30 miles west of Suntech’s new Goodyear, Arizona, manufacturing facility, which will supply a portion of the solar panels for the Sempra Generation project.

"This landmark project further substantiates the ongoing expansion of our local manufacturing operations, which has just expanded to a second production shift and 78 employees, up from 40 employees when it commenced operations in October 2010," said Steven Chan, President of Suntech America.

Sempra Generation, a subsidiary of San Diego-based Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE).

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