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Mesquite Solar 1 project by Hatch

Mesquite Solar 1

Grounding system study for a utility scale solar

Confidential Client | United States of America | 2015

170MWAC
920 acres in the harsh Southern Arizona desert
Over 300 inverter systems
190,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions offset annually

Challenges

  • The plant was experiencing unexpected operational issues after construction was complete.
  • These operational issues had a significant impact on the site's energy production.
  • A cross-functional team that consisted of Hatch, the constructor, and other consultants was formed to identify potential root causes. 

Solutions

  • We provided a small team of experienced engineers with unique and specialized skills specific to electrical grounding and large solar inverters.
  • A detailed GAP analysis was developed and concerns were identified that related to system design specifications, grounding grid impedance measurements, fall potential readings, and system modeling. 

Highlights

  • One of the first utility solar power plants installed in the United States, it is larger than 100MW with future growth plans to reach 700MW.
  • A complete review of the electrical grounding system design was carried out, which included nearly 500 documents and drawings.
  • Unique mechanisms and potential root causes were identified for the problems noted based on specific-to-large solar inverter know-how. 

Project numbers

800,000 multicrystalline modules
85,000 steel piers
300 US construction jobs
56,000 households powered
Expandable up to 700MW capacity
CAD$399M CAPEX
20-year power purchase agreement

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