Arizona-based utility UniSource Energy Services (UES) has dedicated a new 5 MW solar array in memory of an employee who helped to keep the lights on for more than 30 years in Mohave County.
UES says the Steven H. Jacobson Solar Facility, located north of Kingman, will produce enough power to meet the annual electric needs of more than 900 homes. Construction began in September and was completed last month.
“The Steven H. Jacobson Solar Facility adds to UES’ growing renewable energy portfolio. We’re honored to name this new clean energy resource after someone who worked for so long and so hard to provide service to our customers,” says Carmine Tilghman, senior director of energy supply and renewable energy at UES.
Jacobson, a California native, moved to Kingman in 1984 and worked as a lineman and construction supervisor for UES in Mohave County. He died in March 2015 after a two-year battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Jacobson’s family members joined coworkers to dedicate the facility.
“The idea of naming the facility after Steve was the result of his dedication to the company and the community,” says Bill DeJulio, senior director of UES subsidiary UNS Electric. “Whenever we had emergencies or storms, Steve was always there to help, whether he was a lineman or a foreman or a supervisor. He was always ready to contribute.”
Jacobson lent assistance to other utilities in times of need, traveling as far as Vermont and Hawaii to help local crews restore service after significant storms. He was dedicated to his family and coworkers, volunteered for several local nonprofit organizations and served on Kingman’s Clean City Commission.
The Jacobson Solar Facility includes more than 15,000 photovoltaic modules covering 32 acres. Engineering and construction team members included Sverdrup Engineering Services, Bowman Consulting, Premier Builders Group and Sletten Construction. UES owns and will manage the facility, which the utility says will offset about 6,600 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
The company adds that solar power plays an important role in UES’ generating portfolio. The utility is working to deliver 20% of its power from renewable resources by 2020, surpassing the requirements that must be achieved by 2025 under Arizona’s renewable portfolio standard.