By Hillary Davis for the Yuma Sun
County staff has recommended the board approve a special use permit for the Foothills Solar Plant that Arizona Public Service plans to start building in August. The 35-megawatt plant is expected to be built on leased state trust land off 40th Street between Foothills Boulevard and Fortuna Road and generate enough electricity for about 8,750 homes.
The planned site is in creosote-dotted desert about half a mile away from the nearest house. The ground-mounted panels will be about 6 feet 4 inches tall and there will be no on-site staffing except for occasional maintenance. APS will lease the land from the Arizona State Land Department for 35 years at a cost of $10 million.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department detailed some concerns because the site is habitat for the flat-tailed horned lizard, and the development could change the status of the species from “wildlife of special concern” to federally threatened species. However, Game and Fish did not recommend against the solar plant.
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