November 27, 2017 | — Benson, like many other small cities and towns, isn’t known for renewable energy. With a population of just over 5,000 people, it is best known for its railroad history.

However, this southeastern Arizona city in Cochise County with its abundant sunshine and lots of vacant land available at a good price, is an ideal spot for developing solar power.

Arizona Generation and Transmission, a utility co-op of 10 smaller utilities from Arizona, California and Nevada, decided it was time to start developing. So it opened the Apache Solar Project, its first utility-scale solar facility, this fall.

About a 30-minute drive from downtown Benson, the new 20-megawatt solar farm is comprised of more than 77,000 solar panels arranged in several columns. Like most newer solar facilities, the panels are designed to rotate throughout the day and continually face the sun.

With each of Arizona G&T’s co-ops signing up for a portion of the power, the facility is now bringing renewable energy to thousands of rural Arizona consumers.

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