Ron Gould

Ron Gould

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors will pursue $500,000 in federal grant funding for a road that could improve industry in Mohave County.

The road was initially planned for a solar data center project known as The Hive, led by Pegasus Group Holdings. Intended to become the largest project of its kind in the world, the Hive broke ground about two years ago. Now construction has stalled, and at least one Mohave County supervisor has expressed doubt the project will ever come to fruition. But the planned extension of Apache Road, off of I-40 in the Kingman area, could fuel growth of other industrial businesses for years to come.

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors voted March 15 to approve a construction contract for the proposed Apache Road’s “south phase.” The cost of the project would be about $800,000, and about $500,000 in grant funding may be available from the Arizona Commerce Authority to see it through.

The construction would ultimately aid in the development of Mohave County’s Griffith Industrial Complex. There, county Economic Development Director Tami Ursenbach says other corporate entities have already secured thousands of acres for construction of future facilities - and as of last February, Pegasus Group Holdings said the Hive would still be among them.

Mohave County Supervisor Ron Gould was doubtful at the board’s April 5 meeting as to Pegasus’ intentions, however.

“I don’t think Pegasus will ever move ahead,” Gould said on Monday. “In applying for this grant, I can vote for the opportunity for taxpayers of the great state of Arizona to share our pain … or I can vote ‘no,’ and not share the pain our taxpayers are going to feel if we move forward with this inappropriate project at this time.”

The Hive was endorsed by Pegasus brand ambassador and Duchess of York, Sara Ferguson, as well as self-help guru Tony Robbins. Regardless of whether construction on the $3 billion, 340 megawatt Hive project proceeds, county supervisors were optimistic for future business possibilities the road could offer.

On Monday, the Mohave County Board of Supervisors approved a measure to apply for the $500,000 in grant funding from the Arizona Commerce Authority. The funding’s stated purpose is to fuel highway projects that foster job growth. The county would match the grant with $358,240 to complete the Apache Road project.

The application for Arizona Commerce Authority grant funding was approved in a 4-1 vote by the Mohave County Board of Supervisors. Gould voted against the application.

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(5) comments

tomgarven

I can only imagine the cost of implementing the business plan for this company is quite expensive. For example, they have proposed using containers for the servers and having hundreds of these units. That means that EACH unit must have its own cooling system, its own electrical connection and own cabling for the services for the computers mounted inside of those containers. This to me is far more expensive than having one central building, one central cooling system and one point source for all electrical connections.

The only advantage I see in the "container" approach is its modular aspect. Just haul in more containers if your business grows. And while permanent tilt up concrete buildings can certainly be expanded, that takes more time than loading a bunch of servers into a container and bringing that to the site.

But the achilles heal of the whole project to me is the solar power portion of the proposed project. Solar power is a defuse power meaning it is not very concentrated. It takes large areas of land covered with solar panels to generate megawatts of power. And server farms use megawatts of electrical power. You can't or most likely will never get enough power to run the servers inside the containers by covering the containers with solar panels. Or even putting a few more at ground level. No what it will take is a few acres of ground covered with solar panels to power each container system. The kWatt hours needed are just not there on top of a 30' X 8' container.

So now we are back to having a few containers and a few hundred acres of land covered with solar panels so we can get enough power to run the system which to me makes a lot more sense and MIGHT be a possible business solution. But as originally designed and conceptualized it probably would have failed to deliver on its promises to the county and the community.

Maybe that is why the original concept was placed on hold and the differences of opinions caused the original construction to be halted. It's not that it COULDN'T work but rather it most likely it wouldn't work as envisioned.

It seems to me that if we are going to depend on this company to be the center point or hub for a proposed new industrial area, then I recommend the County Board of Supervisors get some further technical advice before someone starts thinking about signing construction checks.

I welcome all opposing points of view.

Patricia Holt

Grants are nice, but the don't go on forever. The costs are then shouldered by the taxpayers.

BigBob

“I don’t think Pegasus will ever move ahead...” Ahh the essence of high-level decision making, "I don' think!"

Deplorable Neanderthal

Bigbob/hwyrovr the hate monger of Havasu has spoken.

alloveragain

What a silly statement. The words "I think" are as normal as apple pie. You have to "think" first,, before you act. I agree, I doubt very seriously that Pegasus will ever move forward. Another "green" endeavor bites the dust!

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