A Spanish company is planning to take 3 square miles of desert southwest of Phoenix and turn them into one of the largest solar power plants in the world.
Abengoa Solar, which has plants in Spain, northern Africa and other parts of the U.S., could begin construction as early as next year on the 280-megawatt plant in Gila Bend — a small, dusty town 50 miles southeast of Phoenix.
The company said Thursday it could be producing solar energy by 2011.
Abengoa would build, own and operate the $1 billion plant, named the Solana Generating Station.
Solana will be enough to supply up to 70,000 homes at full capacity.