TUCSON, Ariz., March 7, 2002 -- Global Solar Energy Inc. recently joined in commissioning one of the world's largest photovoltaic (PV) power stations.
The 1.4-megawatt (MW) ground-mounted system, which converts sunlight directly into electricity, will be expanded to 2.4 MW of generating capacity in 2002.
The PV power station is located near Tucson Electric Power Co.'s (TEP) Springerville Generating Station in northeastern Arizona. TEP owns the installation, which is connected directly to the company's existing transmission line network.
Southwest Energy Solutions, a regional electric contractor, installed the solar collector panels and support structures on 22 acres of vacant land. Global Solar and TEP teamed on system design, specifications and integration of system components. Global Solar oversees daily operations.
Global Solar incrementally commissioned the system and began generating electricity for TEP one month after starting installation in June 2001. The entire system was commissioned in five months.
For the solar array, Global Solar utilized modules made of various PV technologies including crystalline-silicon, thin-film amorphous-silicon, and thin-film cadmium-telluride. Thin-film copper-indium-gallium-selenide modules could be used in the future.
The various module technologies required Global Solar to employ an installation methodology that could be utilized with different array configurations and module sizes.
"Our completion of the 1.4 MW solar system and follow-up contract for an additional 1 MW clearly demonstrates our expert capabilities in large PV system integration," said Global Solar President Michael S. Gering. "This also provides us valuable data in designing cost-effective systems for other projects we are working on with other customers."
Global Solar manufactures thin-film photovoltaic arrays for aerospace, military and commercial applications; and designs, installs, commissions and services complete turnkey solar PV power stations. The company has a PV manufacturing plant in Tucson, and system engineering and design and sales offices in Tucson and Denver.
UniSource Energy of Tucson owns two-thirds of Global Solar. The other one-third owner is ITN Energy Systems Inc., a privately held research and technology development company based in Denver. ITN specializes in advanced materials sciences to provide innovative solutions to space, energy, and environmental industries.
UniSource Energy's other subsidiaries include Tucson Electric Power Co., Arizona's second-largest investor-owned electric utility; Advanced Energy Technologies, a developer of renewable energy and distributed generation technologies; and Southwest Energy Solutions, a regional electric contractor.