red rock solar plant 1_12,13_47162

The Red Rock Solar facility is located on 400 acres about 30 miles south of Casa Grande. It is the largest Arizona Public Service Co. solar plant to date with 2,286 single-axis trackers supporting 182,880 photovoltaic panels

FLORENCE — Four new solar energy plants are seeking major amendments to Pinal County’s Comprehensive Plan that would allow them to build and operate, the Board of Supervisors was told Wednesday.

The projects have different timelines for development in the next two to four years. Pinal County Senior Planner Gilbert Olgin told the board that county staff have no major issues with any of the proposals. The board heard the basics behind each proposal but took no action Wednesday.

  • The Box Canyon solar project would change 2,329 acres slated for a high-intensity activity center, medium-low-density residential and major open space to green energy production for a large solar generation facility north of the National Guard military reservation near Florence. It would be 9 miles north of Florence, 5.6 miles south of U.S. 60 and on the west side of State Route 79.

The State Land Department is the landowner and the applicant is BOCA Bn LLC, which hopes to be operating at the end of 2024. The supervisors had a question about reflectivity so close to a highway. Erik Ellis, speaking for the applicant, told the board the solar panels are designed to be light-absorbing, and glare has never been an issue. “You see them all the time in neighborhoods.”

  • The Sonak Solar project would change 1,882 acres slated for moderate-low-density residential to green energy production and major open space southwest of Eloy. Landowner is Arnoldo B. Burruel and the applicant is Benjamin Conor Branch, Sonak Solar Project LLC, which hopes to be operating by the end of 2025.
  • Arizona City Solar would change 1,667 acres now planned for various residential densities to green energy production southwest of Arizona City. The site is flat and facilitates the project without significant grading, according to county planning staff. The applicant is Randy Schroeder, ENValue LLC, which hopes to be operating by the end of 2024.
  • Eloy Solar would change 1,251.7 acres planned for various residential densities, general commercial and general public facilities/services zoning to green energy production and general public facilities/services southeast of Eloy. The John and Melinda Donley Revocable Trust is the landowner. The agent is SWCA Environmental Consultants and the applicant is Anthony Pedroni, Boulevard Associates LLC, which hopes to be operating in 2023.

Mark Cowling is the county reporter for PinalCentral and covers the town of Florence, San Tan Valley and the surrounding area. He can be reached at