Rezoning OK’d for solar ranch north of Florence

(Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents BrightNight, the solar company developing Box Canyon Solar.)

By Mark Cowling | Pinal Central

FLORENCE — A new solar ranch is being planned on state land 9 miles north of Florence on the west side of State Route 79, following action May 18 by the Pinal County Board of Supervisors.

The board approved a rezoning of 2,087 acres from general rural to industrial and an overlay zoning district for the Box Canyon Solar Project.

It will be a 300-megawatt solar facility with battery energy storage. A 230-kilovolt generation tie-in line will connect it to Salt River Project’s Abel substation 4.6 miles to the west. Approximately 126 acres of the site will remain undeveloped to preserve large washes and future roadway alignments, according to a county staff presentation.

Solar projects use little water and are considered a temporary use. The applicant has provided a decommissioning plan to remove the facility after it is no longer functional, county staff said.

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