Today marks a historic moment as BrightNight, in collaboration with Cordelio Power and Southwest Public Power Agency (SPPA), announced the groundbreaking of the Box Canyon Solar Project, a transformative initiative set to redefine Arizona’s clean energy landscape.
Situated in Pinal County near the Town of Florence, the 300-megawatt Box Canyon Solar Project represents not just a significant renewable energy milestone but also the largest procurement of clean energy in SPPA’s history. This project, the inaugural development in BrightNight and Cordelio Power’s 2-gigawatt Arizona portfolio, marks the commencement of a pivotal phase in the state’s transition toward sustainable energy.
Selected through a competitive process initiated in December 2020, the Box Canyon project is a testament to BrightNight’s leadership in development, in collaboration with Cordelio Power, to deliver cutting-edge, dispatchable renewable energy solutions.
Projected to power approximately 77,000 Arizona homes and businesses annually while offsetting around 600 metric tons of CO2 emissions every hour, the Box Canyon Solar Project employs a design optimized for peak performance. Leveraging BrightNight’s proprietary AI-based platform, the project aims to deliver optimal value at the lowest cost, ensuring reliable and affordable clean energy.
Local Economic and Community Impact
Beyond clean energy production, the Box Canyon initiative promises substantial economic benefits at the local level. An economic impact study conducted by Elliott Pollack and Associates estimates a remarkable $47 million boost to Pinal County during the construction phase, creating 300 American jobs. Once operational, the project is projected to inject an additional $134 million in local economic benefits through property taxes, wages, and more, amassing a total county-level contribution surpassing $180 million.
In a pledge to bolster education, BrightNight CEO Martin Hermann unveiled plans to sponsor 50 students through the Central Arizona College’s electrician program over the next five years, utilizing a portion of the project’s operating proceeds.
The project’s alignment with the Arizona State Land Department (ASLD) ensures substantial contributions, with over $65 million in lease payments slated to benefit the state’s land trust, supporting K-12 and university education, state hospitals, corrections, and more statewide.
Arizona’s Vision and Impact
The Box Canyon Solar Project is an integral facet of Arizona’s larger ambition, encompassing a 2-gigawatt portfolio across three counties, projected to generate over 800 skilled local jobs and yield substantial tax revenues for the state and local municipalities.
Expected to commence operations by the first half of 2025, BrightNight CEO Martin Hermann highlighted the project’s significance: “The Box Canyon Solar Project exemplifies utility-scale renewable power. With over 900,000 MWh of projected annual production, our initiative ensures reliable, clean energy for over 40 years, fostering local revenue, fortifying domestic energy security, and creating valuable American jobs.”
Today’s groundbreaking ceremony, attended by dignitaries including Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, SPPA President Ken Robbins, Pinal County Supervisor Stephen Miller, Dr. Mary Gilliland from Central Arizona College, and BrightNight Vice President Erik Ellis, symbolizes a collaborative stride towards a cleaner, more sustainable energy future for Arizona and beyond.