Picture Rocks, Arizona, 20-MW, US$88.5M solar park approved for SunEdison as part of handful of U.S.-Mexico border infrastructure-boosting projects

SAN ANTONIO , December 12, 2011 (press release) – The Board of Directors of the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) and the North American Development Bank (NADB) announces the certification of four new projects that together will receive funding for more than US$136 million and will benefit approximately one million residents in various communities on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Among the projects approved for financing is a 20-megawatt (MW) solar energy park in Picture Rocks, Arizona, expected to generate sufficient electricity for approximately 3,500 homes in the metropolitan area of Tucson. A loan of up to US$88.5 million has been approved for SunEdison.

A comprehensive paving project in Mexicali, Baja California will provide first-time paving of almost 12 million square feet of dirt roads and will include the rehabilitation of water and wastewater lines. NADB will provide a US$11 million loan to the city, which will cover about 33% of the US$46.4 million cost of the project.

A second project in Baja California consists of providing water, wastewater, storm water and paving infrastructure for the Valle de las Palmas housing development located southeast of Tijuana. A US$36.6 million loan has been approved for the Valle de las Palmas development trust. This project is part of a proactive local, state and federal effort to prevent unregulated urban sprawl and related pollution problems, while providing affordable housing to low-income families.

The Board also voted to certify a US$1.8 million water project in Praxedis Guerrero, Chihuahua to provide 600 residential potable water hookups, along with an elevated storage tank and the needed water distribution lines that will increase the quality of life in the community by providing access to drinking water and decreasing the risk of water-borne diseases. The project will receive a US$549,488 grant through the Bank’s Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF), which is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In its 16 years of operation, BECC has certified 189 environmental infrastructure projects along the U.S.-Mexico border. For its part, NADB is providing more than US$1.33 billion in loans and grants to support 152 of those projects, which represents a total investment of approximately US$3.2 billion and will benefit an estimated 13 million border residents.

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