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Hualapai Valley Solar Project: New Mohave County, AZ, Solar Jobs

Updated on September 12, 2017


  • Review

It's been approximately two months since I published my initial article documenting the ongoing approval process and progress as it relates to the much anticipated job creating and environment healing Solar Angel called the "Hualapai Valley Solar Project". A sensible and responsible venture which is considered by many to be a template for our green future. This renewable facility is expected to employ approximately 1,500 during construction which is estimated to last approximately 3 years, and then retain or hire an additional 100+ to maintain operations once it's up and running.

The following is a brief review to get you up to speed if you're not familiar with this or the many other exciting Green Alternative Energy Companies currently going through planning, or at various stages of the approval process within Mohave County Arizona. Although other similar solar projects utilizing similar technologies have completed the approval process and have been under construction and operational for many years in the Phoenix area, Hualapai Valley Solar is the first of several clean renewable energy projects based in Mohave County that is closest to actually bearing substantial job creation fruits, and ready to begin actual construction phases in the near future. Hence, Hualapai will be the main focus of this article and in the future as developments progress, I will publish many more entries intended to update the interested general public on this particular project, and others throughout the western United States as they file and or submit pertinent paperwork for renewable energy facilities. A long anticipated and essential Earth healing process which will hopefully result in the emergence of significant green energy job opportunities for hard working Americans.

These ventures are all about providing an ever increasing worldwide population with the most sustainable and cleanest power supply going forward. I hope you find this subject as important as I do and please feel free to submit a comment at the bottom of this page if this topic piques your interest or intrigues you, I'm always eager for your response and input pertaining to this exciting game changing subject. According to public documentation, Hualapai Valley Solar and or representatives of said company have been conducting extensive research and due diligence over the past few years in a concerted effort to ultimately bring this solar project to life, a massive job creating and prosperity building venture which has been encouraged and welcomed by the vast majority of citizens who live in and around the blossoming Mohave County area. Hualapai Valley Solar enlisted the assistance, and is now working in concert with Fichtner Solar of Germany to gain their additional expertise with engineering and planning aspects. Together, they have envisioned and drafted a cutting edge working blueprint from which to model the solar field, and when completed, it will be a robust, self contained facility capable of generating 340 MW ( megawatts ) of lean clean green power to facilitate the growing needs of the region. It will undoubtedly be one of the largest and most efficient solar energy gathering and harvesting facilities in the world, collecting a massive amount of solar emissions from the sun and converting it into valuable energy for the end user or customer.

Public Domain
Public Domain
Photo Courtesy of OregonDOT
Photo Courtesy of OregonDOT
  • Project Location

The physical location of the solar project is approximately 27 miles north of Kingman Arizona which is the commerce corridor curator of Mohave County. The land which has been secured by Hualapai is in a desolate and remote area consisting of 4,000 raw undeveloped acres, and to date, there are currently no substantial residential developments that exist within a wide radius of the proposed site. All experts, professionals, and vast majority of residents agree it's a prime location for this type of clean renewable energy production project.

Although it's remotely situated, far away from any city, the site is still within a reasonable distance to access vital infrastructure necessary to produce and transmit the power generated, just one more in a long list of reasons for this logical choice of locations. One of several aquifers ( A large underground lake ) containing millions of acre feet of water sits essentially idle below the surface. 1 acre foot or 325,851 gallons is roughly the equvalent of the estimated supply that one to two average sized families either consume or use in a year.

Several aquifer studies have been conducted over the last ten years yielding a wealth of information which has been documented and made public shortly thereafter, the result of extensive and universal testing techniques. All highly trained, skilled, and knowledgeable hydrologists involved have submitted work product and or other documents which contain their findings of fact. Some minor discrepancies exist which is common when a study is conducted on any subject, however, all are essentially unanimous with regard to their estimates. Their conclusions in very condensed form and paraphrase are as follows. Over past decades the aquifers have experienced minimal if any long term reduction to the water supply and in some cases, the water table has risen substantially. They went even further by projecting to the best of their ability future usage, taking into consideration ongoing population growth and residential and commercial development. The estimates were extrapolated out at least 100 years into the future. The results are in, and from every conceivable vantage point it's very good news for Mohave County and her residents. Sustainable robust growth going forward.

  • The Approval

Here's the fantastic news for everyone in Mohave County. The highly anticipated CEC ( Certificate of Environmental Compatibility ) was granted a few weeks ago by the ACC ( Arizona Corporation Commission ) to Hualapai Valley Solar for construction and operation of the solar project in the Red Lake area just north of Kingman Arizona. This is the final approval the company needed to secure prior to construction.

The majority of residents, the City, County, and State Officials agreed that it's a great project for a great region of the country. Previous landmark decisions included a mandate by the ACC who had previously drafted and implemented legislation in 2008 which requires utility companies in Arizona to generate at least 15% of its energy through Clean Alternative Methods such as solar and wind. This goal must be met by 2025 which is one more reason we should see a continued ramping up of renewable energy production in the west. One of the conditions attached to the approval did indeed surprise everyone involved including Mohave residents. The approval granted Hualapai the right to start construction however, the condition stated that zero groundwater could be extracted to support the facility. Needless to say, this ban from using a reasonable amount of water located under land in which you own, or will soon hold title to, was rather confusing to most observers. With that said, recent press reports indicate Hualapai is re-doubling their efforts to secure effluent ( Treated Wastewater ) for their needs, so one would have to assume hiring and construction should commence hopefully within months.

If you research the chronological order in which the 4,000 acre site progressed over the past few years, you should understand why everyone was quite surprised with the condition attached to the approval. This swath of raw land was originally designated for agricultural purposes which could have easily consumed 16,000 acre feet per year or more. Then, it was re-zoned for residential purposes which significantly cut estimated water usage by more than half to roughly 8,000 acre feet. And then a final re-zone occurred just months ago which once again significantly reduced estimated water usage by more than 50% down to a mere 3,000 acre feet. In fact, if the original owners had exercised their legal right to operate an agricultural venture on the property in which they owned, the amount of water extracted to maintain the business would have been substantially more than what was proposed by Hualapai, essentially 500% more. Those who understand the facts realize even though it's not flowing or bubbling at the surface, the water is there and is abundant, certainly enough to facilitate and sustain any of the above purposes without making even the slightest dent in supply. The enormous underground lakes found here will ultimately be used by someone or some entity, and the real question is "Who will be allowed to use it ?". The obvious answer would be residents of Mohave County who own land above the submerged resources. "Riparian Rights" are clearly stated in Arizona.

Photo Courtesy of NASA Goddard Photo and Video
Photo Courtesy of NASA Goddard Photo and Video
Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army Environmental Command
Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army Environmental Command
Photo Courtesy of emrank
Photo Courtesy of emrank
  • Future Energy Options

In closing, an upbeat and positive outlook going forward. As we progress into the future, the burden will be rightfully placed upon our shoulders to make important decisions which ultimately may or may not lead to long lasting consequences in the form of detrimental environmental effects as a result of our actions or inaction. Unless I'm totally ignorant, a condition which most individuals of whom I engage state to the contrary, wind and solar energy production is the only proven method to date which will either significantly abate, mitigate, or possibly even eliminate any and all risks associated with toxic byproducts.

This cutting edge technology harvests and absorbs natural clean weather phenomenon via solar panels and wind turbines, to be processed into the end result which is usable renewable energy in the form of electricity. Zero carbon emissions released into our atmosphere, zero radioactive by-product such as the case with fossil and nuclear energy production, absolutely no pollution to speak of. Even more encouraging is the current trend which is rapidly moving toward recycling the older solar panels when they need to be replaced, and almost the entire mechanism is recyclable, which means even more protection of natural resources and monetary savings for both the company and customer. Can we honestly say the same in regard to Fossils and or Nuclear generated energies? If we look at past Earth threatening, catastrophic incidents, the definitive answer is obviously no.

Photo Courtesy of NASA - Public Domain
Photo Courtesy of NASA - Public Domain

Someday, if we can perfect nuclear energy production to the point of subjecting the world to zero toxic or radioactive emissions, such as the case with clean Solar & Wind "Harvesting", I will be the first in line to support these endeavors - However, at this point in time, catastrophic dangers related to highly unpredictable nuclear energy sources and related wide spread contamination risk, still exists -

Today, everywhere we look you can see growing evidence of the continuous integration of clean energy alternatives such as Wind & Solar in our every day life. Homes, Autos, Military Installations, the NASA Space Station, and the list goes on.

- A true testament to our renewed emphasis on environmentally friendly power production for all future generations -

Photo Courtesy of woodleywonderworks
Photo Courtesy of woodleywonderworks

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    • Alternative Prime profile image
      Author

      Alternative Prime 7 years ago from > California

      Hello Lexe, Thanks for stopping by,

      It's my pleasure providing information to anyone who is interested in this very important topic. Hopefully many more new "Hubs" and periodic updates to follow as it pertains to ongoing progress.

      It sure is exciting to see that the nation as a whole is finally getting serious about Clean Energy Production such as Solar & Wind. Taking natural non polluting weather phenomenon such as wind & solar rays and converting it into abundant usable energy with minimal if any toxic byproduct. Without a doubt Mohave County is the ideal location for this New Green Energy Commitment and as you stated the economic benefits for the region and the rest of the country are substantial.

      And believe I'm not a "Green Energy Fanatic" so to speak, but I do like to use a little common sense every once and a while...It doesn't take long to figure out Solar & Wind is the best energy production route to take going forward.

    • Lexe Charleston profile image

      Lexe Charleston 7 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      Thanks for the detailed information. I'm happy to see that Arizona is investing in this sort of technology. I've been reading a lot about the money being allocated to new solar and green energy industries an Arizona, and even about the expansion of solar/green related majors at ASU and such. Looks like going green is going to be a great thing for both the environment and the economy and Arizona really needs it. Rating up!

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