Arizona Public Service Co., Phoenix, has signed contracts for the construction of two photovoltaic power plants with a combined capacity of 37MW. Both plants will be developed by SunEdison, Beltsville, Md., with APS taking ownership at completion.

Located in Hyder, Ariz. (40 miles east of Yuma, Ariz.) and Chino Valley (15 miles north of Prescott, Ariz.), the two plants will bring APS's renewable energy portfolio to nearly 682MW by 2013, including projects currently online or in development.

The 17MW Hyder solar plant and the 20MW Chino Valley solar plant are part of APS's Arizona Sun program. Through this program, APS plans to develop 100MW of utility-owned photovoltaic power plants using a procurement model where a third party builds the solar plant and APS takes ownership when it goes into commercial operation.

Construction on the Hyder plant is expected to begin in June 2011, with an in-service date expected in the fourth quarter of 2011. Construction on the Chino Valley project is expected to start in the first quarter of 2012, with completion expected in the fourth quarter of 2012. Both facilities will use polycrystalline photovoltaic panels mounted on single-axis tracking systems.