the solar capital of Arizona

Gila Bend: the sun keeps shining!

The Cotton Center Solar Plant is located a mile from the Paloma Solar Plant; both are photovoltaic (non-energy storing) solar plants

APS credited the creation of the Solar Field Overlay Zone program and fast-track permitting to Gila Bend's Town Manager, Planning & Economic Development Director and members of the Town Council​. 


The Arizona Solar One Generating Solar Station is located just outside of Gila Bend on I-8. Arizona Solar One will be one of the largest solar plants in the world. When operating at full capacity it will provide 250 megawatts of solar -- enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 62,000 Arizona homes. This station is unique in how it generates solar; instead of using light from the sun to create electricity, which is what rooftop photovoltaic solar planels do, Arizona Solar One uses the heat from the sun. This concentrating solar power technology allows the plant to store the sun's heat and use it to generate electricity even after the sun goes down. This is especially important during the hot Arizona summers when cooling demands are at a peak in the evening hours.​

That Gila Bend is home to two of APS's five projected Arizona Sun Solar Projects is in large part due to the Town's innovation in creating aSolar Field Overlay Zone (SFOZ). The purpose of the SFOZ is to provide flexibility in promoting under-utilized land, furthering economic development and employment opportunities and it may only be used for the creation of solar fields and the production of renewable energy​.