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By: Dennis Lambert on 02/05/2013
An Italian company that wants to build a huge new photovoltaic solar power plant outside Maricopa, Ariz., is holding a public hearing Tuesday night to discuss the facility with its neighbors.
(Map courtesy of BLM)
Dennis Godfrey of the Bureau of Land Management says the 1,700-acre site, about 12 miles west of Maricopa and north of the Sonoran Desert National Monument, has been designated by the BLM as a Renewable Energy Development Area,
“That land is/has low resource conflicts, meaning there’s not visual or cultural or wildlife characteristics that would preclude it as being used as a renewable energy site," Godfrey said.
The designation also means the site is reasonably close to transmission lines and to areas that could potentially use the power that’s generated. The Marisol Energy Two project would be capable of generating enough power to supply 75,000 homes.
Tuesday night's hearing, the first on the project, is being held at the Southern Dunes Golf Course Clubhouse, west of Maricopa.
“People will have a chance to learn about the project primarily and can ask questions and provide some, some general input," Godfrey said.
But he said it won’t be the last chance for people to have input on the project. Godfrey said residents will get another chance when the BLM begins the Environmental Impact Statement process, most likely later this year. That process generally takes about two years, to complete, even on a fast track.