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Proposed by K Road Moapa Solar LLC, the project would be built in three phases of 100-150 megawatts. In addition to PV panel arrays, major project components include a 500 kilovolt transmission line to deliver power to the grid and a 12 kilovolt transmission line to the existing Moapa Travel Plaza after Phase 1 is complete. About 12 acres of US public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management would be required for the 500 kilovolt transmission line.
Moapa Band of Paiute Indians Trust Land
K Road Moapa Solar LLC Site Outlined in Red
The project will generate lease income for the tribe, create new jobs and employment opportunities for tribal members, and connect the existing tribally owned Travel Plaza to the electrical grid, decreasing its dependence on a diesel powered generator. The procurement of construction materials and equipment is expected to generate additional sales and use tax revenues for the county and the state.
In evaluating the proposed project's compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, as the lead federal agency, worked closely with cooperating agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Army Corps of Engineers and the Moapa Band.
To minimize and mitigate potential environmental impacts, a Desert Tortoise Translocation Plan, Bird and Bat Conservation Strategy and Weed Management Plan will be implemented, and natural resources monitoring by qualified biologists will be conducted during all surface disturbing activities. Tortoises found within the project boundary would be relocated within the reservation in accordance with US Fish and Wildlife Service protocols. No water will be used in the production of electricity, but will be used periodically for cleaning the photovoltaic panels.
Under the Obama Administration's initiatives to foster tribal energy self-sufficiency and advance economic competitiveness, Interior is also engaged in a sweeping reform of federal surface leasing regulations for American Indian lands that will streamline the approval process for home ownership and spur renewable energy development in Indian Country.
As trustee for the land and resources of federally recognized tribes, Interior is responsible for managing about 55 million surface acres in Indian Country.
posted June 22, 2012 8:40 am edt