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SRP, Randolph reach settlement on gas-fired plant expansion

When Salt River Project announced its proposal two years ago to expand a gas-fired generating station, it was met with swift opposition from residents of Randolph, a historic African-American community near Coolidge.

But the two parties have reached a settlement.

Conservationists said the utility should focus on clean energy instead of natural gas.

Randolph residents worried about impacts on the community.

Their opposition got the attention of the Arizona Corporation Commission, which denied SRP’s request for permits.

Under terms of the agreement, the utility will scale back the project and fund scholarships, job training and other programs for local residents.

SRP has filed to reopen its permit request.

Ron Dungan has lived in Arizona for more than 35 years. He has worked as a reporter, construction worker, copy editor, designer and freelance writer. He's a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the undergraduate Writers’ Workshop, and has a master’s in history from Arizona State University.Dungan was an outdoors reporter and member of the storyteller team at the Arizona Republic, where he won several awards, and was a contributor on a border project that won the 2018 Pulitzer for explanatory reporting.When not working, Dungan enjoys books, gardening, hanging out with his German shorthaired pointer, backpacking and fly-fishing. He's a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and Iowa Hawkeyes.