Welcomes Arizona Governor Katie Hobbes to Celebrate the Renewable Power and Economic Benefits for Arizona
FLORENCE, Ariz., Nov. 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- BrightNight, the next-generation global renewable power producer built to deliver clean and dispatchable solutions, its joint venture partner Cordelio Power, and Southwest Public Power Agency (SPPA), Inc., announced today the groundbreaking of the Box Canyon Solar Project.
The 300-megawatt 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 today, 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 with clean, reliable, and affordable energy, offsetting ~600 metric tons of CO2 emissions every hour. 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 $47M 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. Hermann applauded the college for its local leadership and characterized the local support as just one of the ways BrightNight works to support the communities in which it operates: "At BrightNight, together with Cordelio, we are a long-term owner and operator of this project and committed to the local community and Pinal County."
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. "We are delighted to partner with SPPA, one of the most forward-thinking utilities in America, to help them meet their power needs and deliver on their sustainability goals," BrightNight CEO Martin Hermann said. "The Box Canyon Solar Project is a model of utility-scale renewable power. At over 900,000 MWh of projected annual production, our project will provide reliable, clean energy for over 40 years, generating local revenue, strengthening domestic energy security, and creating valuable American jobs."
"SPPA is proud to supply its members with safe, clean, reliable, and affordable electricity from an industry-leading renewable power producer. BrightNight was able to understand our long-term goals and propose a solution to meet the needs of our members and their customers, while remaining cost-effective," said SPPA President of the Board Ken Robbins.
"We are delighted to have BrightNight as Pinal County's newest business partner. The Box Canyon Solar Project will create new economic opportunities for small businesses and contractors and will generate revenue for the County that will enhance the quality of services for residents, and help fund local school districts, libraries, fire districts, and more. Additionally, we're excited about the partnership between BrightNight and Central Arizona College. This should be a model for other companies looking to do business in Pinal County," said Leo Lew, Pinal County Manager.
"We'd like to thank the leaders and people of Pinal County, who have been great to work with throughout this process," said Hermann. "If you are seeking a place to grow a business and serve a supportive community, there is no better place than Pinal County."
The groundbreaking ceremony held today at the project was attended by Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs; SPPA President of the Board Ken Robbins; BrightNight CEO Martin Hermann; Pinal County Supervisor Stephen Miller; Dr. Mary Gilliland, Vice President of Academics at the Central Arizona College (CAC); and Erik Ellis, BrightNight Vice President of Project Development.
BrightNight is the first global renewable integrated power company designed to provide utility and commercial and industrial customers with clean, dispatchable renewable power solutions. BrightNight works with customers across the U.S. and Asia Pacific to design, develop, and operate safe, reliable, large-scale renewable power projects optimized to better manage the intermittent nature of renewable energy. Its deep customer engagement process, team of proven power experts, and industry-leading solutions enable customers to overcome challenging energy sustainability standards, rapidly changing grid dynamics, and the transition away from fossil fuel generation. To learn more, visit: www.brightnightpower.com
About Cordelio Power
Cordelio is a renewable power producer that manages an operating portfolio of over 1,200 MW of renewable power assets in Canada and the U.S. We also oversee a large growth pipeline of wind, solar and storage projects across the U.S. We strive to work with all of our stakeholders in an efficient, safe, and environmentally responsible manner. Cordelio is wholly owned by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
SPPA is a Joint Action Agency, authorized under Arizona state law, which manages through a formal pool all or most of its members' power resources and facilitates the supply of additional energy needed to meet their customers' loads. SPPA's General Manager is Frank McRae and SPPA's Project Manager is Dennis Delaney, P.E., a Partner of K. R. Saline & Associates, PLC.
To learn more, visit: SPPA.biz
Forward Looking Statements & Information
Certain information contained in this news release constitutes forward-looking information or forward-looking statements (collectively, "forward-looking statements"). All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward–looking statements. Forward–looking statements typically contain words such as "anticipate", "believe", "confirms", "continuous", "estimate", "expect", "may", "plan", "project", "should", "will", or similar words suggesting future outcomes, and include, without limitation, all financial projections, estimates of future costs, and projected performance or results. Forward-looking statements by their nature are subject to risks, assumptions and uncertainties which may cause the actual outcomes of such events to differ from Cordelio and BrightNight's expectations as of the date hereof. Whether forward-looking statements ultimately prove to be accurate will depend on factors outside of the control of Cordelio and BrightNight. Readers are encouraged to undertake their own analysis and investigation as to the reasonableness of any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as at the date of this news release and Cordelio and BrightNight disclaim any intent or obligation to update or to revise any of the included forward-looking statements.