For years, the former Hoku site has sat in limbo. Some questioned if anything would ever happen there, but a recent deal seems to have brought some hope.
Hoku started construction on the plant in 2007, but by 2012 the company had gone bankrupt and the plant remained unfinished, never having reached production.
Recently, Solargise, a UK based group has announced plans to acquire the land.
In January, the Pocatello Development Authority put out a request for proposal (RFP) pertaining to the land that many still refer to as the Hoku plant.
“After that process, a group called Solargise America was the sole respondent,” Melanie Gygli, planning and development services director and interim executive director of the Pocatello Development Authority, explained.
Since that time, the PDA has worked with the group to come to terms on an agreement for the defunct $700 million plant.
According to Gygli, “the appraised price is approximately $1.2 million.”
Once the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed, that’s how much Solargise is slated to pay, give or take $50,000.
While Gygli says the deal is expected to be closed by mid-August, the group has already announced the acquisition on their website and hinted at plans for a sand-to-power project. A project that will feature an investment in the $150 million range and create between 50 and 60 full-time jobs, paying at from 80-100 thousand dollars.
With the first signs of life in years, Gygli says she’s excited to see what comes next.
“Having something go on with that piece of property would be a terrific thing for the community. It would be a job creator, it would get something going there, where we had had hopes of something before,” she said. “I think it would be really good for the community.”