Recently, Sonoran Solar Energy, LLC determined that a photovoltaic project alternative would address the majority of public comments received to date on the Sonoran Solar Energy Project - namely water use, wildlife movement, natural gas use, and visual impacts. Additionally, improvements in photovoltaic technology have allowed large photovoltaic projects to become more economically viable and competitive. Accordingly, Sonoran Solar Energy, LLC worked with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to incorporate an analysis of a Photovoltaic Aternative into the Final Environment Impact Statement. BLM also published a newsletter describing this process, which can be accessed via the link at right.
Sonoran Solar Energy, LLC proposes to construct and operate a solar power plant and ancillary linear facilities and connect it to the Arizona transmission grid. The Sonoran Solar Energy Project includes up to 3,700 acres of Bureau of Land Management managed land which would consist of the proposed solar facilities, and all ancillary features, such as the access road, transmission line, water pipeline, and well field. The proposed Project would be located in the Little Rainbow Valley, east of State Route 85 and south of the Buckeye Hills and the Town of Buckeye in Maricopa County, Arizona.
- Employment and business opportunities
- Local and state tax revenues
- Increased availability of “green” power
Site Selection Factors
Sonoran Solar Energy, LLC completed an extensive site evaluation prior to choosing this location for the Sonoran Solar Energy Project. This evaluation ensured that the site would be suitable for the development of a solar plant. Some of the factors in the evaluation included:
- Solar Resource – high solar insolation to ensure that the Project will generate the highest amount of energy using the least amount of land possible
- Size and Shape – large enough to accommodate construction of the Project and shape that would allow an efficient layout of the plant
- Slope – relatively flat to minimize ground disturbance required for grading
- Infrastructure – near existing transmission and transportation facilities
- Environmental Considerations – to avoid or minimize impacts to sensitive resources