BrightNight, its joint venture partner Cordelio Power and Southwest Public Power Agency (SPPA), announced the groundbreaking of the Box Canyon Solar Project.
The 300-MW project, located in Pinal County, Arizona, near the Town of Florence, represents the largest renewable energy procurement in SPPA’s history, and a major step in Arizona’s clean energy transformation. The project is the first in the 2 GW Arizona portfolio owned by BrightNight and Cordelio Power to commence construction.
At the site on November 15, BrightNight CEO Martin Hermann, SPPA President of the Board Ken Robbins, and Pinal County leaders welcomed Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs to celebrate the occasion.
“While our state continues to experience historic economic growth, we must ensure this growth is sustainable, and there is no better place to do that than in our rural communities,” said Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs. “This monumental project will not only generate clean energy, it will provide consistent revenue for the state and good paying jobs for local residents. My administration is committed to ensuring Arizona’s potential for solar energy is fully realized so that we can make our state the best place to live, work and raise a family.”
The groundbreaking marks a major milestone since SPPA selected the Box Canyon project in a competitive process beginning in December of 2020.
BrightNight led development of the Box Canyon project as part of its joint venture with Cordelio Power.
The Box Canyon Solar Project will produce enough electricity to power 77,000 Arizona homes and businesses annually. The project features a design optimized to maximize performance and deliver the highest-value project at the lowest cost with the help of BrightNight’s proprietary artificial intelligence-based platform.
The project will provide significant economic benefits at the local level. According to an economic impact study by Elliott Pollack and Associates, the project will generate $47 million in Pinal County economic impact during the construction period and create 300 American jobs. During operation, the Box Canyon Solar Project will generate an estimated $134 million in additional local economic benefits in the form of local property taxes, wages, and more, bringing the total county-level economic contribution from construction and operations to over $180 million.
Other local benefits from the project will include education scholarships for technical degrees. During the groundbreaking remarks, BrightNight CEO Martin Hermann announced that a portion of the project’s operating proceeds would be used to send 50 students through the Central Arizona College’s electrician program over the next five years.
The project’s value also extends beyond the local level. From the very beginning of the project, BrightNight worked with the Arizona State Land Department (ASLD) to site the project on State Trust Land. Under the arrangement, over $65 million in lease payments will be made over the life of the project, which are allocated to the State of Arizona land trust. The trust’s beneficiaries include K-12 education, university education, state hospitals, the department of corrections and more across the state.
Committed Arizona partnership
The Box Canyon Solar Project is an integral part of a broader vision for Arizona that includes a 2 GW portfolio with 900 MW in advanced stages across three counties, slated to create over 800 local skilled jobs and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue for the state and local municipalities.
The Box Canyon Solar Project is expected to become operational in the first half of 2025.
News item from BrightNight