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WASHINGTON The Moapa Band of Paiute Indians have been approved for a 350 megawatt solar energy project. The project marks a milestone as the first ever, utility-scale solar project approved for development on tribal lands, and is one of the many steps the administration has taken to help strengthen tribal communities.
Moapa Band of Paiute Indians 350 Megawatt Photovoltaic Facility
The project will be built on tribal trust land of the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians in Clark County, Nevada. The 350 megawatt photovoltaic facility will generate enough power for over 100,000 homes.
The project is also the 31st utility-scale renewable energy project that the US Department of the Interior has approved since 2009 as part of a Department wide effort to advance smart development of renewable energy on our nation's public lands.
Prior to 2009, there were no solar energy projects permitted on public lands; today's approval brings the total to 17 solar projects, 6 wind farms, and 8 geothermal plants. If built by the companies, the renewable energy projects approved by this administration will provide approximately 7,200 megawatts of power to communities across the West, or enough to power nearly 2.5 million homes. These achievements build on the historic expansion of renewable energy under President Obama, with energy from sources like wind and solar doubling since the President took office.
“This trailblazing project is part of the President's commitment to help build strong, sustainable tribal communities by supporting safe and responsible renewable energy development,”
Secretary Salazar said.
“Tribal lands hold great renewable energy potential, and smart development of these resources has the power to strengthen tribal economies, create jobs and generate clean electricity for communities across Indian Country.”
The Record of Decision signed today approves the construction, operation and maintenance of a low impact photovoltaic (PV) facility and associated infrastructure on about 2,000 acres of the Tribe's reservation, located 30 miles north of Las Vegas. The site represents about three percent of the Tribe's 71,954 acres, which are held in trust by the US Government. The project is expected to generate about 400 jobs at peak construction and 15 to 20 permanent jobs.
“This is a great day for the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians, and for Indian Country as a whole,”
said Del Laverdure, Acting Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs.
“As our nation's energy portfolio continues to grow, it is important that tribal communities have the opportunity to harness the energy of the wind and sun in a way that can power our homes, businesses and economies. Today is a important step in that direction.”
Established one year ago, the Rural Council has focused on maximizing the impact of Federal investment to promote economic prosperity and improve the quality of life in rural communities, including on tribal lands.
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posted June 22, 2012 8:40 am edt