Tucson Electric Power (TEP) requested design for a state-of-the-art solar facility incorporating all the lessons learned from their extensive past experience and utilizing the highest reliable cost-efficient equipment available. In the past TEP witnessed poor civil design leading to erosion issues forcing periodic and higher Operations and Maintenance (O&M) cost. Design also addressed visible open disconnecting means on both the DC and AC side to meet utility requirements. Covid related supply chain issues were addressed throughout the design and construction. A public viewing station with EV charging, bike racks, handicap parking stalls, and an interactive single axis tracker was included in the design.
Strategic planning and creative thinking addressed stormwater management on a site with semi-reverse existing flow patterns. By reversing the grading and balancing the site, flow velocity was minimalized, and the outlet was significantly smaller which reduced the cost of the overall installation. Components of the civil included 20-footwide gravel road, minimal grading with a balanced site, structural equipment pads, fencing, soil stabilization methods, runoff managements via collection and transport system, stormwater management report for temporary conditions and long-term maintenance. The structural design included analysis for footings of equipment and wind loading conditions. Ten Ingeteam central inverters were installed under removable rain/sunroof for weather protection with covered trenching to allow flexibility during future inverter replacement. The electrical design integrated Solar Flex Rack single axis trackers with grid powered motors to maximize up-time. Array was set up in 2.5MWAC blocks with Solar Bos DC combiner boxes and DC disconnects.
Youtube Video produced by TEP: