It takes a village to cut through the red tape and streamline solar permitting.
Herman K. Trabish: April 26, 2012
n anticipation of the GTM Solar Summit in Phoenix next week, GTM continues its look into the Arizona solar industry.First Solar’s four-month construction time for its 17-megawatt thin-film Paloma solar facility in Gila Bend, Arizona, was “the fastest the industry has ever witnessed, to our knowledge, anywhere,” according to Program Manager Ted Geisler of Arizona Public Service (APS), the state’s biggest utility and the facility’s financial backer.
Paloma, Geisler said, was the result of “a unique partnership between First Solar as the developer, APS as the owner, and the local municipality.” Gila Bend’s Solar Field Overlay Zone (SFOZ), Geisler said, is a uniquely streamlined approach to permitting.
SFOZ was developed, Gila Bend Director of Planning and Economic Development Director Eric Fitzer explained, because leaders of Gila Bend (official population 1,980) watched Abengoa’s nearby Solana solar power plant take two years to get through land-use permitting and decided they could do better.
The Biggest Little Town in Solar : Greentech Media