Large-Scale Solar Project Announced for Southern Nevada

LAS VEGAS -- Oil, gas and coal keep our country powered up, but the clean energy movement hopes the U.S. can tap more solar, wind and geothermal resources.

The sixth annual Clean Energy Summit started Tuesday in Las Vegas, and it had the politics of renewable energy in play.

At the summit, it was announced that Nevada has a first-of-its-kind, large-scale solar-energy project in the works.

The Moapa Band of Paiutes announced they will build a 250-megawatt solar project on tribal land, 30 miles north of Las Vegas.

The tribe will partner with Herbst Energy and K Road Power Holdings

"What exciting times for our tribe," Eric Lee with the Moapa Band of Paiutes said.

"We're talking about a world class solar-energy facility that will be among the largest in the world," managing partner with K Road Power Holdings Gerrit Nicholas said.

Supporters say a solar project hasn't been done on this scale before.

"The greatest desire is to have an impact to our community, our country, and our tribe. These projects will provide local jobs," Lee said.

Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell says Nevada has a bright future with renewable energy.

"Nevada, such a leader in so many ways," Secretary Jewell said, "And also on the forefront in so many areas with renewable energy development, blessed with so many natural resources including solar and wind."

Nevada's neighbor, California, jumped on the clean energy bandwagon led by then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"Because of the partnership, California is now 40 percent more energy efficient than the rest of the country," the former governor said.

Last year at the summit, Nevada Senator Harry Reid called for the Reid-Gardner coal plant near the Moapa Paiute Reservation to be closed.

A year later, the plant is on track to go away, and the tribe is looking forward to a solar project, hoping for a clean, green future.

Senator Reid says hundreds of construction jobs will be created at the Moapa Paiute Reservation. Construction is set to begin in a matter of weeks.


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