Serrano Spices Up The Solar Market

Longroad Energy’s Long-Anticipated Arizona Solar Project Will Feature Series 7 Solar Panels

Longroad Energy’s Sun Streams complex in Maricopa County, Arizona, with Sun Streams 3 in foreground and Sun Streams 2 in distance. Longroad has announced the financial close and start of construction of Serrano, a 220-MWdc solar and 214-MWac / 855-MWh storage project that will bring the total of its operating and under construction Arizona solar portfolio to more than 1.5 GW. (Image Courtesy Of Longroad Energy)

Longroad Energy (Longroad), a US-based renewable energy developer, owner, and operator, announced the financial close of Serrano, its 220-MWdc solar and 214-MWac / 855-MWh storage project in Pinal and Pima Counties, Arizona. Serrano is Longroad’s first project to use First Solar’s domestically manufactured Series 7 panels. First Solar began showcasing the first Series 7 thin-film solar modules in fall 2023.

The project has commenced construction and commercial operations for Serrano is currently expected by mid-2025. The output of the Serrano project will be purchased by Arizona Public Service (APS) via a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA). The project will generate enough electricity to power roughly 61,000 Arizona homes, and will support grid reliability, particularly during Arizona’s hot summer months.

Serrano represents the continuation of a longstanding partnership between solar manufacturer First Solar and Longroad. Serrano is the fourth Arizona project using First Solar’s modules that Longroad has financed in four years, and Longroad’s first to use thin-film Series 7 modules.

McCarthy Building Companies (McCarthy) is the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor on Serrano. The Serrano project is the fourth large-scale solar facility in Arizona being built by McCarthy for Longroad and is expected to employ more than 300 people during the construction process. McCarthy is using registered apprentices and will be paying prevailing wage to all workers on the project, in accordance with the Inflation Reduction Act.

Serrano’s 214-MWac / 855-MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) will be provided by US-based energy storage platform provider Powin. The BESS will include SMA inverters and cells from AESC, which will be integrated into Powin’s Modular and Scalable Centipede Energy Storage Platform. Longroad, in conjunction with Powin and NovaSource Power Services, will provide long-term operations and maintenance services for the BESS.

Nextracker is supplying trackers for the project and Sungrow is supplying the solar inverters. Comprehensive operations and maintenance services for the project will be provided by NovaSource Power Services and Longroad’s affiliate Longroad Energy Services.

Environment And Community

Serrano represents more than 363,763 tons (330,000 tonnes) of avoided carbon dioxide emissions annually — the equivalent of taking approximately 75,000 gas-powered cars off the road for as long as the project operates.

Over the project’s useful life, Serrano will contribute more than US$25 million in revenue for Arizona schools and communities through its long-term Right of Way grant with the Arizona State Land Department and tax remittances.