A wave of green energy projects backed by the White House and the Department of Energy is sweeping across the country. And it looks like a number of federal properties in Mojave County could be subject to at least three of them.
The story began when Golden Valley resident Art Schlosser called and asked if he was aware of a proposed solar energy project in an area stretching from Sohai to the old Duval Mine. I hadn’t heard about it, so Schlosser explained to me about the project and how it would affect him negatively.
“I own 10 acres of land roughly in the middle of where a company (reNRG Partners) is proposing to install solar panels on 4,000 acres of land here,” Schlosser said. rice field. “When this project comes to fruition, I will be completely surrounded by solar panels!”
Schlosser said there are others that will be affected if the proposed project comes to fruition. “Others will also be affected, including local rancher Tex and Lisa Carter, who holds a BLM grazing permit for the area.”
A little more research revealed that the actual proposal included 3,970 acres of the Mineral Park Solar Project. We also learned that mineral parks weren’t the only thing the energy company was proposing.
Further up Highway 93, there appears to be another project called the White Hills Solar Project, where another 4,300 acres of public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management is also proposed as another solar project. there is
Both of these projects are in the district of Gene Bishop, District 4 Supervisor.
But it doesn’t stop there. There is another project called Leo Solar Project located in Ft. Mojave south of Bullhead City. Its proponent is Leo Solar LLC. It’s in District 5 Warden Ron Gould’s district. The proposed project includes 3,376 acres of public land, which are also managed by the Kingman Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management.
I reached out to Gould for comment. He said he was aware of the proposed project and had actually met with representatives of the company a few weeks ago. When I asked if he supported the project, he said, “It’s on federal land, so I don’t think it needs our approval.”
When I asked Bishop if she would like to comment on the project, she said: I plan to attend meetings and gather information to make informed decisions and estimates. “
At a supervisory board meeting in Kingman on March 27, local rancher Brenda Stockbridge spoke to the public to advise supervisors on solar project issues. I spoke with Lisa Carter, a local rancher. She owns Pine Springs Ranch with her husband, Tex, and she owns pastures on the land through BLM. The project, proposed by reNRG Partners, will utilize 3,628.2 acres of that allocation for the project. This represents 46 percent of Pine Springs’ allocation.
Other farms affected include Castle Rock Range Farm, which has 322.5 acres of land used by an energy company. If the project is approved, the Mineral Park will also lose 22.1 acres of grazing land.
Carter said he owns five acres of private deed land where his home is located. “If the project comes to fruition, there will be solar panels installed near the ranch,” she said.
We spoke with Kingman’s BLM Field Manager, Amanda Dodson, about the process of the proposed project.
Dodson also said, “Counties and other government agencies/affiliates have been invited to another conference similar to the one held to the public on May 18.”
She said it will accept comments from anyone, including government agencies and the public, until June 19, as stated in the news release. “
What’s interesting is that supervisors hold private meetings before public meetings. Neither the general public nor the press can enter the meeting.
As a sportsman and conservationist, I am concerned about the obvious impact on the people living in this area. I have also provided recreational opportunities for hunters, hikers, ATV enthusiasts, bird watchers, and are home to many species of wildlife that I consider to be Arizona’s most valuable natural habitat. We are very concerned about the loss of more than 11,000 acres of public land. resource?
Please attend this conference and learn what will be revealed.
Yes, as Overseer Bishop said, these proposed projects are in the early stages, but there are many questions that need to be answered.