Power plant plans on collision course with rural lifestyle

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 7.07.42 AMBy Ryan Randazzo | The Arizona Republic

The light breeze spreads a cloud of yellow pollen from rows of scraggly jojoba bushes. As he bounces along in a pickup, Kerry Starr watches over workers preparing for the summer harvest.

Things are looking good at the farm outside Bouse, about an hour south of Lake Havasu City, which makes the news ­rippling through this remote desert area so troubling.

Phoenix-area utility Salt River Project has identified the area as a near-perfect candidate for a large nuclear or natural-gas power plant to serve the electricity demands of its nearly 1 million customers. Officials don’t anticipate needing additional power from such a plant for a decade or more, but they have begun planning for a ­project that could take years of permitting and construction.

SRP has begun offering Purcell Jojoba International and other property owners cash for their land. Few want to sell.


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