The RfP will take advantage of Arizona's excellent irradiation rates and federal lands. Source: Flickr/Patrick Dockens
Regulators in La Paz County, Arizona, have issued a Request for Proposals (RfP) to procure up to 1.5GW of utility-scale solar projects for electrical use in Arizona and neighbouring California.
The county, located in the western part of the Grand Canyon state, is home to a 100MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, and is well-known for its abundant solar resources.
The RfP is leveraging on congressman Paul Gosar’s recent jobs bill introduced to encourage economic development in rural Arizona. HR 6491, introduced in December 2016, authorised the secretary of the Interior to utilise land in La Paz County to facilitate renewable energy projects for the western US.
“The potential for renewable energy development throughout the West has never been greater,” Gosar said in statement at the time. “When advancing such opportunities we must pursue a balanced approach that partners with local stakeholders and isn’t dependent on federal subsidies. The massive size of the federal estate poses real challenges for some western counties, including La Paz County in my home state of Arizona. This creates a serious economic challenge for local governments that desperately lack the tax base to support basic public services.”
To this end, the legislation targets 8,800 acres for an economic development zone on which to build the renewable energy projects.
Details of the RfP include the soliciting of developers to initiate projects, as well as a project timeline and requirements. According to local reports, several firms have been pre-qualified already for the projects.