New solar plant brightens landfill in Buckeye

June 10, 2015

The new Desert Star Solar Plant represents a growing collaboration between government and private industry to develop more renewable energy choices that support the changing ways people use energy today.

State and local officials, along with representatives from APS and general contractor McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., celebrated Desert Star’s completion with an event June 10.

The ninth solar project of APS’s 170-megawatt AZ Sun program, Desert Star consists of more than 50,000 photovoltaic panels spread across 118 acres at the City of Phoenix SR-85 Landfill.

The City of Phoenix is leasing the land to APS, which will own and operate the 10-megawatt plant. Upon completion, the plant will produce enough solar energy to power about 2,500 homes. The project is taking place within the City of Buckeye’s jurisdiction for permitting and plan reviews. 

“APS has spent 60 years advancing solar technology through innovative programs, research and partnerships like this one with the City of Phoenix,” said Tammy McLeod, APS Vice President for Resource Management. “Desert Star is a wonderful example of the creative successes that can be achieved when solar companies and utilities, and in this case cities, work together toward a common goal of making Arizona a leader in solar energy.”

APS’s renewable energy portfolio now consists of more than 1.2 gigawatts of electricity, or enough energy to power more than 300,000 homes across Arizona. With Desert Star’s full commercial operation, APS’s solar portfolio alone will contain enough electricity – 895 megawatts – to meet the needs of more than 220,000 customers in the APS service territory.