By Hubble Ray Smith for Daily Miner
UniSource Energy Services is proposing a $45M solar energy plant off Route 66 with construction beginning in February 2016, contingent upon rezoning changes and an amendment to Mohave County’s general plan.
The proposal calls for two separate projects on 155-acre and 60-acre parcels on Avenida Verde north of Grace Neal Road, near Kingman Airport, said Mike Gibelyou, senior agent with UniSource’s land resources department.
The larger site would produce about 20 megawatts of electricity, while the smaller parcel would produce up to 10 megawatts. Together, they can supply energy to 6,000 homes.
Construction is expected to take about seven months, so that will provide some jobs and a trickle-down effect for local businesses, Gibelyou said. It’s basically an unmanned facility with probably one electrician contracted for maintenance.
Arizona Corporation Commission set a mandate that electric utilities generate 15 percent of their energy from renewable resources by 2025. The commission’s Renewable Energy Standards encourage utilities to use solar, wind, geothermal and other technologies to generate “clean” energy to power Arizona’s future.
Eileen Jacobson, senior program manager at UniSource, said the ACC set a current surcharge on electric bills that goes toward funding construction of renewable sources of energy.
The solar facility proposal is tentatively on the agenda for the March 11 meeting of Mohave County Planning and Zoning Commission, and will go before the Board of Supervisors in April.
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