Prescott intervenes in review of Big Chino hydroelectric plant

Questions arise over plant’s impact on Prescott’s Big Chino water rights

By Cindy Barks | The Daily Courier

A “seat at the table” is the goal of a Prescott City Council’s Feb. 27 decision to intervene in the review of plans for a hydroelectric plant in the Big Chino Basin northwest of Paulden.

The council unanimously approved the resolution that allows the city to become involved in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s hearing on ITC Holdings’ application for the Big Chino Pumped Storage Project.

City Attorney Jon Paladini explained that the council decision does not indicate either city support or opposition to the plans, but rather gives the city the right to take a stand at a later date.

“This just allows us a seat at the table,” Paladini said. “We haven’t taken any formal position.”

Council members, who had earlier discussed the matter in a closed-door executive session on Jan. 23, brought up a number of questions and concerns about the project this week.

Councilman Phil Goode noted that the project would use “hundreds of millions of gallons of water” from the Big Chino Basin.

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Hydropower is simply the process of harnessing the kinetic energy from moving water to produce power. Hydropower is classified as a renewable energy due to the fact that the water cycle is continually renewed by the sun.
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