Irving, Texas-based Fluor Corp. recently announced that SunPower Corp. awarded the firm the construction of the 20MW Copper Crossing photovoltaic (PV) solar power plant on 144 acres of formerly private agricultural land in Pinal County, Ariz. Fluor will book the undisclosed contract value into backlog in the first quarter of 2011.

“This project is a significant win that not only bolsters Fluor’s growing portfolio of solar work, but also highlights our expertise across the entire renewable energy sector,” says Dave Dunning, president of Fluor’s Power Group. “SunPower Corp. leads the industry in solar PV technology and project development and our primary objective is to assist them in accomplishing their operational and business goals with successful completion of the Copper Crossing Project.”

Iberdrola Renewables is developing Copper Crossing and will own and operate it. The company will sell the electricity under a long-term contract to utility provider Salt River Project for distribution on the region's utility grid. The project will create employment opportunities and provide revenue for schools, health, fire and other critical services in Pinal County.

The plant will use the SunPower Oasis Power Plant product, a fully integrated, modular solar power block that is engineered to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy utility-scale solar projects while optimizing land use. Each power block integrates the SunPower T0 Tracker with SunPower's high-efficiency, E19 series solar panels, pre-manufactured system cabling, and other advanced features. The power block kits are shipped pre-assembled to the job site for rapid field installation and offer the highest capacity factor and the most reliable long-term performance.

“Fluor has been supporting SunPower on a number of fronts since 2009, and we are excited about the opportunity to build this project using SunPower’s new Oasis product at Copper Crossing,” says Brad Friesen, VP of Fluor’s Renewables business line.

The plant, which began construction December 2010, is expected to create approximately 200 jobs during construction, and will be fully operational in 2011.