A Maryland company will seek initial approval Tuesday of its proposal to build two large towers on the southeast corner of San Luis, Ariz., to turn wind into electricity.
The San Luis Planning and Zoning Commission will consider Clean Wind Energy’s request to rezone 1,760 acres for heavy industrial use, allowing for “downdraft towers” that the company’s CEO previously said would reach about 3,000 feet in height.
Any commission vote on the rezoning request serves as a recommendation only to the San Luis City Council. The council could take up the Clean Wind Energy’s request next month.
The commission meeting is set for 7 p.m. in City Hall in San Luis, 1090 E. Union St., and is open to the public. Area residents will be able to speak out on the proposal.
Clean Wind Energy is seeking to rezoning of land south of County 25th Street and between Avenues A and C, near the United States-Mexico border.
As proposed by Clean Wind Energy, water from the Sea of Cortez would be piped to San Luis, desalted and pumped to sprayers at the top of the towers. The water would then be pumped to the sprayers and sprayed out in a fine mist, cooling hot dry air and causing it to fall.
Dropping at speeds of 50 mph and higher, the air would drive turbines that would, in turn, power generators that produce electricity.
The company proposes to sell the power to distributors in Arizona and California.
In a recent public meeting in San Luis to explain the project, Clean Wind Energy president and CEO Ronald Pickett said the towers would require a $5 billion investment and could employ 2,500 temporarily in the construction phase. The company is projecting each tower, when completed, would be operated by 1,000 permanent employees – 250 in each of four shifts.
For more information about the rezoning request, call the Development Services Department at 341-8565.
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