County enters solar agreement after BLM purchase announcement

La Paz County, in partnership with a world-renowned solar development firm, announced today an Economic Development Agreement for 4,000 acres of land as a solar energy site that will produce up to 850 megawatts of energy.

“This major success is the culmination of over four years of effort by the County,” a press release said. “This effort would not have been possible without the direct support of the Arizona Congressional delegation representing La Paz County, led by U.S. Representative Paul Gosar, Senator Krysten Sinema and Senator Martha McSally.”

The development will occur on land being purchased by the County from the Bureau of Land Management pursuant to federal legislation which directed the sale of over 6,000 acres of federal lands. Proceeds of the sale of the land from BLM to the County will be deposited in a special account established to meet public conservation objectives in Arizona.

“We are grateful to the Arizona delegation and Congress for giving us the opportunity to acquire this land and ensure the future economic health and wellbeing of La Paz County,” said La Paz County Board of Supervisors Chair Holly Irwin. “We also appreciate the strong support from our solar development partner. This is the first of what we hope will be many solar development sites located in La Paz County and will hopefully generate interest by others supporting the County’s economic interests.”

“Today is a great day for La Paz County,” said Representative Gosar. “Last year, I was thrilled to see my bill, the La Paz County Land Conveyance Act, included in the Lands Package and signed into law. The opportunity for the people of La Paz County created as a result of this land conveyance will bring new economic opportunity, high paying jobs and a brighter future for our state. It is my privilege to represent the people of La Paz County in Congress and I look forward to seeing it continue to grow and prosper.”

Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally also weighed in:

“We worked for years to get the La Paz County land transfer across the finish line, and I am thrilled to see the Bureau of Land Management follow through. This move will spur job creation in La Paz county and protect our public lands for future generations of Arizonans,” said Sinema.

McSally said, “In a county like La Paz with such a massive federal footprint, sometimes it takes a literal act of Congress to open up opportunities for economic development. I led the effort in the Senate to get the La Paz County Land Conveyance Act passed into law and when federal bureaucracy threatened to delay even further, I pressed BLM to keep their commitment to La Paz to complete the process efficiently and expeditiously. I applaud the hard work of the County Supervisors, BLM and all the stakeholders involved in this innovative economic development effort.”

La Paz County is 94.7 percent public lands, with only a tiny fraction taxable by the County. Filling this revenue gap has been a goal of local officials for decades, so solar development is seen as highly desirable by County government.

8 comments

  1. Martin Sudicky

    Let’s hope it doesn’t turn out like Crescent Dunes or Ivanpah. Billion dollar solar boondoggles.

  2. Jack D. Noblitt

    The Cresent dunes project is a tragedy; close to 1 billion dollar sitting idle about 15 miles north of TONOPAH, NV. ??WHY?????

  3. Rhemydog Pincher

    And all the birds that even get close get instantly fried……

  4. Jake Larson

    Where will the solar site be located? Will it affect the race track that brings probably the most revenue of any event held in Parker?

  5. John Stephen Lane Sr.

    Folks, we aren’t being given the whole story here. This “purchase” with money the County didn’t have until they laid the Prop 401 scam on the county taxpayers in anticipation of backroom deals made with Member Gosar forcing BLM to relinquish lands they had, through the normal vetting process to, they had previously denied for the purpose of a “Solar Farm”. The BLM stand on this issue was made perfectly clear during their Senate testimony. While it would appear “on paper” to be something we can be proud of, it is anything but. The site location is 39 miles EAST of Quartzsite along I-10. So, pray tell, other than the possibility of an eventual tax benefit AFTER the potential county subsidy for assisting this alleged, unnamed “world-renowned solar development firm”, who in the County would benefit from those “high paying jobs” out in the middle of nowhere, miles from any sort of civilization? Yes, there might be an on-call technician from the “Solar Company” under contract to keep everything running, by computer. I am sure that the local Solar Farm installation companies in La Paz County will be hiring many well qualified individuals locally to install the farm, right?

    Don’t get me wrong, I am all for alternative energy production. I am against the kinds of shenanigans the County and Member Gosar’s pulled off on behalf of a private “world-renowned solar development firm” against the judgement of BLM, taking away public lands from the American people through the back door.

    BLM already has approved solar farm locations in this area, but they weren’t good enough.

    Remember my objection to Prop 401 because it had no specific purpose and the amount was almost identical to the cost of this land acquisition, BEFORE the bill was signed into law. I am sure it was just a coincidence.

  6. John Stephen Lane Sr.

    39 miles east of Quartzsite along I-10. Right in the middle of La Paz County’s population area.

  7. Glenda Gustin

    nosludgeinquartzsite….

  8. Kari Avila

    Right in the middle of a cattle ranch.

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