Chairman Little called running two high voltage power lines through the San Pedro Valley a mistake of the first order. “I am extremely disappointed in the outcome of this decision and believe there were better alternative routes with significantly less environmental impacts that unfortunately were not approved” when the project went through its federal environmental review, Little said. “I am truly saddened that one of the crown jewels of Arizona’s unspoiled wilderness will be irreparably harmed by this decision.”
Library filed under Transmission from Arizona
An outpouring of passion against the proposed 515-mile SunZia power line project greeted the Arizona Corporation Commission Tuesday, with about 25 speakers arguing that it was environmentally destructive and economically unjustified.
A consortium says it wants to bring renewable wind and solar energy to Arizona cities by building two power lines from New Mexico. But it’s fighting hard against being required to guarantee it will put renewables on the line.
The Arizona Corporation Commission will consider approving a formal Certificate of Environmental Compatibility for the proposed SunZia power line at its Feb. 2 meeting.
The farm bureau and cattle growers sided with environmental groups, with whom they often are at loggerheads, such as the Sierra Club, as well as grass-roots activists in rural communities such as the Cascabel Working Group north of Benson and residents in Picture Rocks northwest of Tucson.
If a public-input session held last week is any indication, power transmission lines are not welcome neighbors, even if the electricity they carry is generated by renewable resources. ..."My general feeling is the Avra Valley is the dumping ground for anything that anybody else doesn't want in their backyard," he said.
While they are in favor of the concept of renewable energy, members of the Cascabel Working Group (CWG) are opposed to the construction of a 460-mile, high-voltage power line across the middle San Pedro River. An estimated 100 people attended an informal meeting in Cascabel last week, where they told members of the Southwest Transmission Group that building power lines across the San Pedro would damage one of the world's only free-running rivers.
A power transmission line that could be the first in the United States to transport renewable energy might pass through Las Cruces and White Sands Missile Range, according to preliminary plans of the SunZia Transmission Project. A public scoping meeting was conducted Monday at Court Youth Center to provide interested residents with information about the project. Plans call for wind energy generated in east-central New Mexico, near Clovis, to be transported 460 to 560 miles to a substation in south-central Arizona.