Thursday, September 03, 2009

Time for another fun public meeting...

A friendly reminder that one of the proposed solar power plants will be a topic for a public hearing on the Mohave County Planning and Zoning agenda next Wednesday, September the 9th (item numbers 22A and 22B on page 7 at the link).

Below you will find a letter that was prepared by an associate of the firm that is seeking to develop the new renewable energy plant right here in our collective back yard. Please note that the following words are not mine, they come straight from the Hualapai Valley Solar group. You will see information that they are providing, including some response to the nonsense of the water worry warts and the crappy propaganda they continue to offer.

No matter what side of the issue you may already be on, please give the following a read. At the end of the post I will link to all the local elected officials from the city council of Kingman on up to the state legislative representatives. If you so choose, let them know your views on this very important issue.

The letter will be italicized and begins now...

September 1, 2009

To: Friends of the Hualapai Valley Solar Project near Red Lake

On Wednesday, September 9, the Mohave County Planning & Zoning Commission will review our General Plan Amendment and Area Plan. Development Services staff is recommending their approval. We encourage you to participate by signing a Letter of Support and/or by signing up to speak at the P&Z hearing – this is your chance to take an active role in shaping the future of Mohave County.

Many of you have heard me speak at our open houses and public meetings, or at events sponsored by the many civic organizations in Kingman. By now, you understand that our Project site near Red Lake is a world-class solar site – it is flat, very remote, has sparse vegetation and no protected species, and is adjacent to multiple transmission lines. Many proposed renewable energy projects are “like trying to push a square peg into a round hole”. But near Red Lake, everything fits, and this is something that the people of Mohave County should embrace! Besides the obvious benefits of developing U.S. renewable energy, reducing global warming, and reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil (and therefore our foreign trade deficit), the Hualapai Valley Solar project will directly benefit Mohave County in many ways:

• New jobs – 1,500 at the peak of our 3-year construction period and 105+ during operation

• Substantial tax revenue – an estimated $4+ million per year in property taxes

• An estimated overall impact of more than $20 million per year, and this does not include:

o Revenue to the City of Kingman for the sale of effluent (treated wastewater)

o Revenue from tourist visits to our Visitors Center.

As a responsible developer, Mohave Sun Power will continue to build its stewardship in our community. To date, we have invested in many local relationships, including:

• Local consultants, engineers, subcontractors, utilities and suppliers

• Job training programs such as the new, county-wide Joint Technological Education District (JTED)

• Working as a member of the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce, helping to identify the substantial opportunities for the local business community.

Critics of our Project continue to present misinformation about our water usage. The facts are:

• After 2 years of study, ADWR issued a Letter of Assured Water Supply that includes our site, for the equivalent of approximately 9,000 acre-feet per year. Our Project will use 2,400 acre-feet per year, effectively retiring (not using) 6,600 acre-feet per year.

• Errol Montgomery & Associates completed a hydrologic study showing that there are more than 15.7 million acre-feet of easily accessible water in the Hualapai Valley Basin within 1,200 feet of the ground surface, with even more below that mark.

• Of the 2,400 acre-feet per year we would use, we expect to purchase up to 1,700 acrefeet per year of effluent from the City of Kingman. A pipeline will bring the effluent from the new Hilltop Wastewater Treatment Plant to our site. The City currently has no other buyer for this effluent, which will likely be evaporated (as it is today) if we do not reuse it.

• If the new Hilltop plant and our Project were operational today, the result would be that we would pump roughly the same amount of water used by either of the 18-hole golf courses in the area (each with considerably less local economic impact than our Project).

• The Hilltop treatment plant is designed to support growth – any increase in the output of the Hilltop plant (due to population growth or redirecting other City wastewater) will likely result in our Project using 100% effluent for our cooling needs.

• Our Project recycles the cooling water more than 55 times, and we will continue to evaluate and implement other innovative techniques for conserving and reusing water.

For nearly a year, Mohave Sun Power has been working diligently and responsibly, developing the Project near Red Lake. During that time, the Project has been greatly improved through the feedback and constructive ideas presented by local residents.

Citizens should continue to scrutinize proposed projects, and support responsible developments in these difficult financial times. Critics often have the loudest voices, while supporters sit on the sidelines. We would like to turn that tide, to ensure that the best developments are realized.

Please consider signing a Letter of Support for the Hualapai Valley Solar project.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Greg Bartlett, Project Director

The next part is up to you... not me... you. You may decide to let your county and city leaders know how you stand on this particular issue. You now have some information that you can use to help base your decision on -- at the very least somewhere to start if you want to question the information further. All of what comes next is on YOU.

Below I am linking email addresses to local elected leaders and other officials. Please take a moment, if you choose to do so, and let these folks know where it is you stand on this very important issue.

Mohave County officials...

District 1 Supervisor Gary Watson

District 2 Supervisor Tom Sockwell

District 3 Supervisor Buster Johnson

City of Kingman officials...

Mayor of Kingman John Salem

Vice Mayor of Kingman Janet Watson

Council Member Carole Young

Council Member Kerry Deering

Council Member Ray Lyons

Council Member Robin Gordon

Council Member Keith Walker

City of Kingman City Manager Jack Kramer

Arizona State Legislative Representatives...

Representative Doris Goodale

Representative Nancy McLain

Senator Ron Gould

Thank you to anyone that decides to take the time to let our elected leaders and officials know how we feel about these opportunities at this time. If you do decide to drop an email or a phone call, or simply a visit in person... tell 'em MOCO sent you.

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