By Cesar Neyoy fpr Yuma Sun
Rebuffed earlier by the city council in its efforts to build a solar power plant here, a California firm still hopes to win city support for the project now that nearly half of the council members are leaving office.
Four newly elected council members will take office on Wednesday, and Freeman Hall, president of Solar Electric Solutions, says he plans to reappear before council to ask for a letter endorsing the project.
The Woodland Hills-based company wants to erect solar panels in an unincorporated area within the city limits. While the council has no jurisdiction over the site, the Yuma County Board of Supervisors is asking for the letter before it will approve a special use permit for the project.
The proposed 175-acre site is south of Juan Sanchez Boulevard near Avenue F, not far from the Baja Substation owned by Arizona Public Service, to which the company proposes to sell electricity generated by the panels.
Council members who previously opposed the project have voiced concerns that it would have little economic benefit for the city but could pose a land-use conflict with future residential development in the same area.
He estimated that over its 30-year lifespan, the solar plant would generate $5.1 million in property tax revenue for various local governments and school districts.
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