Arizona Public Service Company (APS), an electric utility and the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital, plans to build an 18MW solar PV plant to be located 70 miles southwest of Phoenix in Gila Bend.

The plant, which will be owned by APS and located in the town’s new Solar Overlay Zone, will feature 75,000 solar panels arranged in 1,566 rows and connected to 108 single-axis trackers, producing enough energy to meet the needs of 4,500 residential customers.

APS has selected Solon, a Tucson-based solar module manufacturer and provider of solar power plants, to develop this project, the construction on which is expected to begin in early 2011 with a completion date in November 2011.

Energy from the solar plant, which will be connected to the electric grid at the Cotton Center Substation, located less than a mile from the project, will meet the Arizona Corporation Commission’s Renewable Energy Standard.

In addition to this solar PV project, APS will also develop a 99MW Perrin Ranch Wind Energy Center in northern Arizona and a 280MW solar thermal plant outside of Gila Bend.

Solon North America regional vice president and general manager Dan Alcombright said that Solon is proud to partner with APS and to provide the total system solution for this landmark project—from Solon trackers and modules to site development, system design and construction.

“The Gila Bend system showcases our truly comprehensive offering that will bring clean, renewable energy throughout the state,” Alcombright said.