Fast-tracking Renewable Energy
Sep 27, 2011 - Bill Opalka - renewablesbiz.com
Arizona Public Service Company (APS) took another step to develop more solar energy with its recent announcement of an 18-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant to be located 70 miles southwest of Phoenix in Gila Bend.
The plant will be owned by APS and sited in the town's new Solar Overlay Zone. Utility scale PV is getting more common, so the zone was the part that caught my eye.
Gila Bend has designated a geographic area as a fast-track permitting district, which will take less than three months, instead of the typical one to two years. By locating the new project within the boundaries of the Solar Zone, construction can begin in early 2011 with a completion date in November 2011. The plant will sit on 145 acres currently used for agriculture.
Fast-tracking permits seem to be afoot in a few areas, and one way to build renewable energy projects more quickly.
Massachusetts tried to pass a fast-track wind siting law this year and failed. California ran out of time this year as well.
But the inherent conflict between state energy goals and local land-use control won't be resolved soon.