Johnson Utilities and Solar-Powered Plants

Located in Pinal County, AZ, Johnson Utilities was built by George Johnson in 1997. Since then, it has continued to grow and now delivers water to approximately 38,000 customers in the Queen Creek and San Tan Valley area. It has become the largest privately owned water company in the state.

The organization relies upon several wells and water plants to accomplish the task of providing water services to its clients. There are four wastewater treatment facilities where effluent is treated and then used for irrigation on several golf courses. It is also utilized to recharge aquifers deep in the earth for use in the future.


As you might imagine, all of the pumping and treatment activities consume vast amounts of electrical power. For nearly a decade now, Johnson International has relied on one of Arizona’s greatest natural resources—the abundant sunshine—to produce a substantial portion of the power it uses. Johnson Utilities was the first water company in the state to use solar energy to help power a wastewater treatment facility.

More than 5,400 solar panels were installed over 6 acres of property surrounding its wastewater plant in Anthem at Merrill Ranch, a master-planned community north of Florence, AZ. It was the first project in the state to use solar energy in that way and represent a move away from fossil fuels. It is also George’s second solar project and the first on a nearby site that uses solar power to help run a well and potable water treatment plant.

Solar Power Installations

Altogether, Johnson Utilities now operates three solar installations—totaling over 1.6 mWS, making us one of the largest nonelectric utility solar power producers in the state. Each year that these solar plants operate at full capacity, we eliminate over 4.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the earth’s atmosphere—carbon dioxide that would otherwise be released if traditional electrical power generation methods were used.

In addition, the solar plants also prevent releases of smaller but still significant amounts of even more harmful gases, such as nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide. Over a 10-year period, just considering the reduction in carbon dioxide alone, the pollution these solar installations will prevent is about the same as eliminating over 40 million miles of driving in a typical American car!

This extensive solar power installation is just one example of the many ways Johnson International continues to innovate and improve the lives of customers and the condition of the planet we all call home. We are committed to providing a better world for all of us to live in today and for generations to come.