New solar energy plant will serve Yuma

April 06, 2012

A new solar plant planned in southwestern Arizona will be the first on state trust land since the Arizona State Land Department began identifying sites for solar development last year. Lou Gum has more from Yuma.

LOU GUM: The 35-megawatt Foothills Solar Plant will serve the Yuma area, generating enough power for more than 8,700 homes. Developed by the utility company Arizona Public Service, the 400-acre plant will be the fifth and largest in its AZ Sun project. The State Land Department manages more than 9 million acres of state trust land, selling or leasing it to support K-12 schools. Deputy State Land Commissioner Vanessa Hickman says with the help of APS, the department looked for the best sites to develop solar power.

VANESSA HICKMAN: We looked at issues like proximity to transmission lines, making sure that it wasn't an area that had significant archaeology or areas that were perhaps more suitable for commercial development, areas that had more opportunity for sunshine.

GUM: Construction of the Foothills Solar Plant will begin in August and should last about a year. AMEC of Atlanta will construct the plant, creating more than 100 local jobs.

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