Arizona Solar Power Plant Pays $1.5 Million In Emissions Violation Fines

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Friday, September 23, 2016 - 6:44pm
(Photo by Steve Shadley - KJZZ)
The Solana plant covers three square miles of desert with solar panels.

One of Arizona’s largest solar generating stations this week settled with Maricopa County Air Quality Department after dozens of emissions violations.

The Solana Generating Station in Gila Bend opened three years ago to produce electricity for Arizona Public Service and is privately owned by Arizona Solar One.

It's one of Arizona’s largest solar plants, and the county said between June 2014 and January of this year, it logged 21 regulation violations. And, Arizona Solar One will pay $1.5 million in fines.

County air quality spokesman Bob Huhn said this is the largest fine the department has ever imposed.

“By the amount of the fine, it’s been ongoing and it’s been a concern and a great deal of impact to the community.”

The company failed to take performance tests, removed emissions control systems without approval and put out more emissions than allowed.

Arizona Solar One will also invest millions of dollars in repairs and upgrades.

“The settlement funds that we received, it’s going to be used to fund research projects related to air quality, community outreach campaigns and community programs,” Huhn said.

As of 2015, the solar plant was producing three-quarters of its projected electricity capacity.

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