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.