The solar project the Trump administration is seeking to build in Arizona could cost hundreds of millions of dollars more than initially envisioned, according to new research.
The study by the American Institute of Architects and the Sunlight Foundation found the $1 billion project would have a bigger footprint and lower efficiency than its developers originally hoped, as well as a higher chance of power outages and the potential for flooding.
“The Trump administration’s decision to delay construction of the project until 2022, despite the fact that its design was already in the final phases, may have serious financial consequences for Arizona and Arizona communities,” the report said.
While the project is still being developed, the study found that “the project’s economic impact could be as much as $3 billion in the long run.”
The cost of the $2.9 billion solar installation project, which was expected to start in 2018, would rise as it is added to the federal power grid, the report added.
The $1 Billion Solar Project would also increase power outage risk by up to one-third and generate an additional $300 million in additional emissions annually, the authors said.
Trump’s decision comes as the country is trying to deal with a severe wildfire season and drought, and the federal government is reviewing federal land and water allocations for the coming year.
The solar project was first proposed in 2018.
The Trump transition team released a statement Friday calling the proposed solar project “a critical first step toward creating jobs and economic growth.”
“Arizona’s solar sector will be a key engine of economic growth for years to come,” the statement said.