KINGMAN – A thunderous burst of applause followed the last Mohave County Board of Supervisor’s vote rejecting rezoning requested for development of a heavily opposed renewable energy project north of Kingman.
The effort to employ solar and hydrogen energy production over some 12,000 acres north of Valle Vista and south of Red Lake has drawn little if any public support, but overwhelming protest during a series of meetings.
Addressing supervisors during their board session, applicant Derek Fromm complained that the proposal was unfairly prejudged in an environment absent of facts and riddled with misinformation. He said one or more unidentified supervisors have engaged in distortion to malign the project and sway public opinion.
“Some of you through social media appeared to be whipping up public fear in this county by using all sorts of half facts and misleading information,” Fromm said. “For us it’s been an incredible uphill battle in the last couple of months. We came in good faith to the county to develop a project and we found ourselves almost like a ‘WHACK-a-mole’ game with obstacles being thrown in front of us.”
More than a dozen residents and citizens railed against the development as they have before. Water consumption, quality of life and public safety concerns associated with hydrogen combustion were some of the main factors cited by critics.
A number of opponents including Board Chairman Travis Lingenfelter expressed skepticism of claims by project officials that the generated energy would all be used on-site to power the Hualapai Valley Farm operation. Lingenfelter further noted recommendation and input from the County Planning and Zoning Commission and the City of Kingman also served as foundation for board approval of his rezone rejection motion.