Duke Energy has acquired the Gato Montes solar project, a commercial solar power project located within the University of Arizona's Science and Technology Park (UA Tech Park) in Tucson, Ariz.
Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy, purchased the 6 MW installation from AstroSol Inc. The project is expected to achieve commercial operation within the next week. Tucson Electric Power Company will buy all of the electricity from the project under a 20-year agreement.
The plant uses thin-film amorphous silicon technology – a first in the Duke Energy Renewables fleet. It is also unique at the UA Tech Park, where various solar projects are being tested under identical operating conditions to evaluate the most beneficial technology for solar energy production in the Southwest.
Construction on the 38.5-acre parcel of land in the UA Tech Park began in December 2011 by vis-solis LLC, the U.S. subsidiary of Solmotion. AstroSol Inc. received certification from the Border Environment Cooperation Commission and received financial approval for a $12.3 million loan from the North American Development Bank to construct the project.