Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) has opened a concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar energy plant at its River Mountains Water Treatment Facility. Amonix, a supplier of CPV solar systems for sunny and dry climates, designed and manufactured the plant.

According to Amonix, the CPV solar plant is capable of producing 308kWh (DC) of clean, renewable power – enough to power 50 medium-sized Las Vegas homes annually.

The plant was completed in July 2009 and after a 10-month provisional period is now fully operational and performing as predicted, the company said.

At the inaugural ceremony, Amonix revealed that its plans to use $5.9m of a $9.5m investment tax credit from the Recovery Act’s Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit, that it received in 2010 to establish a new manufacturing facility in Southern Nevada are underway, and that the facility will be open by the end of 2010.

When fully operational, the facility will have an annual production capacity of 150MW of CPV solar systems and employ 278 people in management, technical and production jobs, the company said.

The Amonix system is the company’s third installation in Nevada – first on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, second at the NV Energy Edward W. Clark Generating Station, and latest being at SNWA’s River Mountains facility.

Brian Robertson, CEO of Amonix, said: ”We commend the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s commitment and vision in treating clean water with clean, reliable CPV solar. It is bringing new jobs to Nevada while modernizing our electric grid to enhance the security and reliability of our country’s energy infrastructure.”

Pat Mulroy, general manager of SNWA, said: ”In addition to generating clean renewable energy, our new CPV solar plant will displace 500 tons of CO2 emissions and save half a million gallons of water each year compared to traditional power generation in Southern Nevada.

”The CPV solar plant uses no water in operation and does not require land grading or special treatment of the site – underscoring our commitment providing clean water in sustainable ways and with minimal impact on the local natural environment.”