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Idaho’s largest solar farm proposed for Power County

POWER COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) - Idaho's largest solar farm could be built in southeastern Idaho.

The Florida-based company NextEra Energy is planning to build a solar farm in Power County.

"About six months ago, this company contacted us," said Building Administrator Andi Higgins. "They wanted to do some test sites around the area."

NextEra is currently the world's largest producer of wind and solar energy. After conducting those test sites, they believe that Power County is the perfect spot for their project. 

The solar farm would be constructed on 6,500 acres of rangeland within rural Power County.

"Most everything I've heard is very favorable," Higgins said. "People are interested in it. They want to see what's going to happen. It is going to bring new opportunities and new jobs to the area."

How does a solar farm actually work? Multiple solar panels absorb energy from the sun, convert it into electricity and send that electricity to a power grid for distribution and consumption.

It's a process that the county is not foreign too.

"The reason Power County even exists is because of the dam and the power," Higgins said. "We’re called Power County. That's how we got our name."

 It's that powerful identity that Higgins hopes this project will help create.

"I think it's going to actually put us on the map, because we are such a small county," Higgins said. "We are overlooked. People fly over or drive through, but they don't really stop and see what a great community we have."

The county has scheduled a public hearing on zoning for the proposal on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the Power County Annex Building, located at 500 Pocatello Ave. in American Falls.

Anyone is welcome to attend.

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Cole Sams

Cole is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.

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