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State utility regulators reject power plant expansion proposal in historically Black community

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State utility regulators have rejected a proposed power plant expansion project that pitted environmental justice concerns against metro Phoenix’s increasing electricity demands during Arizona’s summer heat.

The Arizona Corporation Commission’s vote Tuesday was a victory for residents of Randolph, a small historically Black community near Coolidge in Pinal County.

Citing concerns about emissions and air quality, residents opposed the Salt River Project’s nearly $1 billion project to add 16 more quick-start units to its nearby natural gas-fueled generating station.

The Sierra Club also opposed the project. Officials with SRP said the expansion was urgently needed to reliably augment other sources of power.