200MW Solar Facility Proposed for Pinal County

Credit: Pinal County

By Tasha Anderson for AZBEX 
Global energy storage developer, Invenergy, LLC is planning a new photovoltaic solar energy production facility on approximately 1,642 acres of private land north and south of Highway 287 just west of the Eleven Mile Corridor in Pinal County. 
The developer, also noted in the project documents as SunDog Energy Center LLC, is requesting a Major Comprehensive Plan Amendment to change the land use designation from Moderate Low Density Residential to Green Energy Production. Pinal County heard the request at its July 16th Planning and Zoning Commission meeting as a work session item. 
The project, also called SunDog Energy Center, will be a 200 megawatt (MW) solar energy generation and battery storage facility and will be located 1.5 miles west of the current Pinal Central Substation on undeveloped agricultural parcels. According to the documents, the project will deliver generated energy to the substation via a 230kV gen-tie transmission line. 
Other elements of the project are anticipated to include: 

  • A Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) 
  • A possible 1.2KSF Operations and Maintenance Building and 1.2KSF Control House 
  • A Site Substation 
  • PV Modules on a Single-Axis Tracking System 
  • Electrical Collection Systems (switchgear, transformers, inverters, etc) 

“The BESS would be housed in a series of buildings or storage containers composed of batteries and inverters,” the documents note. The buildings will all be climate controlled and will include a security system, smoke detector sand containment edges on the floor to prevent spills. 
The Operations and Maintenance Building will be used for staff workspace, equipment and documents, while the control house will be used for storing relay and communications equipment. Only the O&M building will have a septic system and potable water. 
Access to the site will be from Highway 287 as well as from Signal Peak Road, Curry Road, Kleck Road, and Casa Bonita Road. The project will also include infrastructure including access driveways and gates, on-site parking, drainage, retention basins, fencing and signage. 
The documents state that the project will be developed in response to market demand, “when a Power Purchase Agreement(s) or PPAs for the Project output is/are acquired. The currently anticipated timing of development of the Project is to meet a commercial operations date in 2023.” 

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