In 2008, Abengoa Solar, S.A has planned for a 280 MW plant near Gila Bend. This decision was taken as privately utilities face a deadline imposed by the Arizona Corporation Commission to generate 15% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

Abengoa Solar already has a contract with Arizona Public Service to buy all the power produced to fulfill with the mandate.

Albert Fong, chief project engineer for the Albiasa project, said there is no specific customer at this point for the $1 billion Kingman plant, at least none his company wanted to talk about publicly. But Fong said he believes there will be enough demand for solar to guarantee a need for what the plant will produce.

Fong said, Albiasa already is planning same operations elsewhere in the desert southwest.

The desert provides an ideal venue for the technology which uses parabolic mirrors to superheat a special fluid pumped through pipes. That fluid, in turn, heats water to steam which drives the generators that produce electricity.

Fong said the plant would use only a little percentage of that water, and the amount is far less than what would be generated if someone decided to do farming on the location.

The plant also will have a natural gas backup system. But Fong said this is not so much to produce electricity as to keep the transfer fluid used in the pipes from freezing.

In fact, Fong said the system envisioned actually will be able to produce electricity after the highest solar hours. That is as it will store the heat generated when the sun is the highest in molten salt, a move he said will allow the plant to continue generating electricity during the summer peak use hours.

Company officials said the Kingman location was selected not only because of the sunlight but because of its closeness to transmission lines to move the power to customers.