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Company wants to build huge power towers near Yuma

Maryland's Solar Wind Energy is working with the town of San Luis, Ariz. to build a pair of power-generating skyscrapers on the U.S.-Mexico border near Yuma and they would be the second-tallest structures ever built.

The blueprint calls for each tower to be 2,200-feet high and use a combo of Yuma's incredible summer heat and water piped in from Mexico to spin huge turbines to create 500 megawatts of power each.

It could bring thousands of jobs for Yuma County which has one of the nation's highest unemployment rates, hovering at around 30 percent.

Tourist attraction? Certainly. But Mike Conway with the Arizona Geological Survey said there's one big catch: The plant would be close to the San Andreas earthquake fault.

"You would have to take a long, hard look at the stability of the towers when you could have a quake of 7.5 magnitude a mere 40 to 50 miles away."

The world's tallest tower is in Dubai at 2,700 feet. The Arizona power towers wouldn't be built until at least 2018, if ever.

But according to Forbes, Solar Wind Energy stock was trading at one penny per share earlier this week, down from a company high of 32 cents per share two years ago.

About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.


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