A 250-megawatt solar electric generating station built on an Indian reservation near Las Vegas will soon start pushing energy to Los Angeles, tribal leaders said Sunday.
Executives from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, tribal leaders and both of Nevada’s two U.S. senators attended the ceremony, held Friday.
The renewable energy power plant is billed as the first ever utility- scale solar power plant to be built on tribal land, and will provide electricity to the Los Angeles DWP. It is capable of generating enough clean energy to power an estimated 111,000 homes.
The plant has a long-term power purchase agreement DWP to bring clean, renewable energy to Los Angeles residents.
The Moapa Solar Project “will significantly help the City of Los Angeles to achieve 33 percent of all energy from renewable resources by 2020 and 50 percent by 2025,” said Reiko A. Kerr, Senior Assistant General Manager, LADWP Power System.
The Moapa Paiutes called the solar energy project an ideal economic development opportunity, providing lease revenues over the lifetime of the project and about 115 construction jobs for tribal members and other Native Americans, while also preserving their land and cultural heritage.
The plant was constructed and will be operated by First Solar. It features more than 3.2 million advanced First Solar thin film photovoltaic solar panels.
This equates to more than 25 million square feet of solar panels, or enough to cover more than 450 NFL football fields, the company said.
By using renewable energy from the sun, this project will avoid approximately 341,000 metric tons per year of carbon dioxide emissions that would have been produced if the electricity had been generated using fossil fuels – the equivalent of taking nearly 73,000 cars off the road.
First Solar’s technology creates no air or water pollution and uses no water to generate electricity.
Los Angeles has relied on coal-fired power plants in Utah, Arizona and Nevada to power the City of Angels. But DWP has been shuttering its gigantic coal-fired smokestacks, which were blamed for reducing visibility in the Grand Canyon and other national parks.
–City News Service
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