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5/13/2009 6:00:00 AM
Another solar plant on tap
Director says project near Red Lake would be one of the largest in the world

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - A fourth solar plant may be in the works for Mohave County. Mohave Sun Power, LLC has announced plans to build a 340-megawatt concentrating solar project about 27 miles north of Kingman, near Red Lake.

The project will be one of the largest in the world, said Greg Bartlett, project director.

The project will use the same parabolic trough technology with molten salt storage that Albiasa Solar has proposed for its 200-megawatt plant south of Interstate 40 and west of U.S. 93.

The Ranch at White Hills is building a solar facility that will provide energy to the development. And a smaller solar project is slated for the Yucca area.

"This is proof that our (Arizona's) renewable energy standard is finally bearing fruit," said ACC Chairwoman Kris Mayes.

"It's a good deal," said Supervisor Buster Johnson. "It will attract a lot of attention to the area." It will also help in the battle for solar power with Phoenix, he said.

Sunlight will be collected at the Mohave Sun Power and Albiasa facilities using mirrored troughs and focused on a tube of oil running through the center of the troughs. The oil will be transported back to a central facility where it will be used to generate steam. Some of the energy will be stored in molten salt tanks until it is needed during peak energy times.

The company looked all over the Southwest before settling on Mohave County, Bartlett said. Some of the benefits to locating the project in Mohave County, as compared to Maricopa County, included a higher elevation, the remote area, the amount of water and the ability to acquire 4,000 acres from a private landholder, Jim Rhodes. The company has a purchase lease agreement with Rhodes for the property.

Mayes does not believe the property is part of the bankruptcy suit Rhodes filed last month.

Calls to Bill Marion of Purdue Marion and Associates, spokesman for Rhodes Homes, were not returned Tuesday before deadline.

According to information from Johnson's office, the plant will use about 1,500 to 3,000 acre-feet of water per year to wash the mirrors and generate steam. The plant intends to recycle some of the water. The company says it's well aware of the water concerns in the county and is spending a lot of time upfront on the issue, Bartlett said.

But the company won't know the exact amount of water the plant will use until the plans are finished and the quality of the water has been determined.

The ACC is watching the water issue carefully, Mayes said.

The plant may also use some fossil fuel or biodiesel to generate electricity on cloudy days, Bartlett said. They prefer to use a biofuel of some sort over a fossil fuel.

The new project is expected cost more than $2.1 billion. The company has applied for a federal loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy. The project is also eligible for a 30 percent Federal Investment Tax Credit.

If built, the project will create up to 1,500 jobs during its 2.5 to 3 year construction period, and offer more than 100 full-time jobs after the plant is completed. The company expects to start construction in the fourth quarter of 2010 and complete the project in the second half of 2013. It will operate under the name Hualapai Valley Solar, LLC.

The plant is expected to run for 25 to 30 years before needing to be upgraded.

However, there are still several issues the company must resolve before the plant can be approved by the ACC, Mayes said.

It still has to get permits from state and federal agencies for air and water quality. It must also prove to the ACC that it has someone to sell the power to.

According to Mohave Sun Power Executive Director Mitchell Dong's Web site, the company is looking to sell the power to the highest bidder. It has 14 possible purchasers for power. At least eight of those purchasers are in California, one is from Nevada, four are from Arizona, one from Colorado and the last one includes selling the power to large industry.

The company also has to show that it has a way to transmit the power, Mayes said. There are 500 kilovolt power lines in the area. The question is whether there is enough capacity left in the lines to transmit power from the proposed plant.

The project will also require an amendment to the Mohave County General Plan and zoning changes, both will have to be approved by the County P&Z Commission and the Board of Supervisors. The company plans to hold a public meeting on the project in mid June.

"I have to give (Don) Van Brunt a lot of credit," Johnson said. If it wasn't for Van Brunt, the county wouldn't have the tax dollars it does.

It was Van Brunt who brought in large industries such as North Star Steel and Griffith Energy and now Mohave Sun Power, he said.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Article comment by: Vince Prowell

I liked your article very informational. I would like to know how you can apply at this solar plant for employment. I am looking to relocate to Kingman with my wife. She needs a warmer area to live. I would appreciate any assistance in this matter.

Posted: Friday, March 4, 2011
Article comment by: Sharon Holmes


I don't know what happend to you after that first meeting i n the park in January, but I might guess. We all need to work together. Please call me at 928-377-3181.

Posted: Thursday, August 26, 2010
Article comment by: DV s

Denise, thank you, this is really getting old....we are still against the water guzzeling out of country big business... Isn't there a solar plant going in to the area of White Hills that does not use water...and if I remember right it is a US Company...and Denise is right the SEC has already fined those owners...and they keep changing their names to keep all confused...but lets continue the fight...

Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Article comment by: no name provided

Bring it on! Naysayers and Nimby's need to be quiet...and isn't this article old news?. Didn't this company already sign a letter of intent with the city to get recycled water. Reading NNP's comment about Laron....these people are qualified to build it, maintain it and run it!

Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Article comment by: Edison Yazze

Which contractor from Tucson is hiring there? let me know, please.

Posted: Monday, July 6, 2009
Article comment by: Sick&Tired

I’m one of many residents who live in the area and depend on the aquifer they will be using for this power plant.

We already have fought, out of control development in this are. Why do we need a power plant that consumes our finite resource. Why can they use photovoltaic technology to create the power?

We have wind all year long, why can install wind generators instead. ={

Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2009
Article comment by: WW

I personally know that Don Van Brunt had nothing to do with the location of the power plant or even bringing the developer to Mohave County

Posted: Saturday, May 16, 2009
Article comment by: michael

one solar plant is one thing but 3 or 4 is another,why now and why our county?I have family who own 40 acrs who have their own solar panels because they live off the grid,this is how people should utilize our county lands if those moveing don't want to live in one of our 3 largest cities then buy land and put a solar panel up,lets stop some of these big plants which take too much land and water.

Posted: Friday, May 15, 2009
Article comment by: Denise Bensusan

Don't forget folks..this is in our backyard, our HUALAPAI AQUIFER which means the city of Kingman as well. 4,000 ACRE FEET OF WATER a year or more? There are greener options (that are not water intensive) to produce solar electricity but these applicants don't want to utilize those processes! We are also inundated with, yet another participant with a shady background. Is Rhodes involved in this? Far too many important questions for this to be FAST TRACKED!

Solar exec. Dong himself draws scrutiny given prior sanction by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Please take a moment to visit and read 2 excellent articles concerning Mohave Sun Solar.

SOLAR EXECUTIVE HAS GRAND VISION by Dave Hawkins....EXCERPT FROM ARTICLE: The SEC announced in January, 2008 that it had reached a settlement agreement with Dong and Chronos Asset Management Inc., a company that Dong founded in 1995. The SEC issued an order imposing sanction and a cease-and-desist directive.

"The Order finds that Chronos and Dong engaged in a fraudulent market timing and late trading scheme. From January 2001 to September 2003, Chronos and Dong used deceptive means to continue market timing in mutual funds that had previously attempted to detect and restrict, or that otherwise would not have permitted, Chronos's trading," the SEC Order said. It said that Chronos and Dong willfully violated SEC trading rules.

Denise Bensusan

'A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.' ~~~ Thomas Jefferson

Posted: Thursday, May 14, 2009
Article comment by: No name provided

Did anyone else notice the cost? 2.1 Billion for a 340 megawatt plant hat at best will be no more than 25% efficient. An equivalent cost from nuclear (even with its supposed high capital cost) would be about the same in capcity, but would run 90%+ of the time instead of 25%. Therefore, the cost per emgawatt-hour (how we pay for electricity!) would be about one third the cost.

Posted: Thursday, May 14, 2009
Article comment by: NNP

For those of us who drive I-40 to Barstow, did you notice the solar farm out by Daggett. Has anyone asked the residents who live by this huge expanse of mirrors how it affects their lives? Lake Mead water levels are continually lowering each year yet the requirement for power and water increasing each year in the Western U.S. I would like to see the price of electricity come down so it stands to reason if more electricty is produced then the cost per kWh should come down. Let's face it the U.S> uses more electricty during the summer time which is when solar farms are able to use the sum the most. There is also the factor that the more solar and wind farms there are we should be able to reduce our requirements for hydro-electric power, hopefully allowing future generations to enjoy Lake Mead and similar reservouirs. I would like to know are these firms that are looking to build solar farms going to use firms like Laron to build or at least contract some of the work for building the frames for the mirrors or will it all be outsourced? What type of sustainable employment will be available to the local community? How much tax revenue does the county county expect from each site?

Posted: Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Article comment by: Loyd

I just hope these projects amount to more than just another "Bubble" that blows up like the "" and "Real Estate" bubbles did. Massive projects generally get their money from "investors" that buy into the hype. If it works, everyone makes money. If there is a gross miscalculation, the whole thing can go down like the Hindenburg. I, for one, will not be buying into a "Clean Mirror" project being set up in the dust-bowl and dust-devil capitol of the southwest.

Posted: Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Article comment by: No name provided

I think solar power is great so long as the power that is generated benefits the people of Mohave County, not California or anywhere else for that matter. If their going to be using our resources, then the energy should benefit us in this county first and if there is left over energy, then the state of Arizona.

Posted: Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Article comment by: Steven Cardon

soler is good for kingman and with the hoover dam bypass and the west grand canyon hualaoai mountain medical centr and other developing (NAFTA) kingman is on the way of growth we love kingman and mohave county i see kingman and las vegas as one. steven cardon

Posted: Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Article comment by: Neil Farbstein

[Deleted. Comment boards can be used only for non-commercial purposes.]

Posted: Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Article comment by: George

Welcome to the Kingman area and good luck with your project.

Posted: Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Article comment by: Marcie


This is near our land!

Love, Mar

Posted: Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Article comment by: No name provided


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