The Moapa River Indian Reservation will be hosting a new 250MW solar plant soon. It is expected to be operational by 2016. Two thousand of the reservation’s 71,680 acres will be used for the 910,000 solar panels. The land that will be used for the plant is northeast of Las Vegas, not far from a somewhat famous state park called the Valley of Fire.The Moapa Travel Plaza truck stop is next to the plant’s intended site and may receive solar power as well. (This is just a side comment, but if you are in Vegas and want to visit a beautiful natural setting, the Valley of Fire is a short drive and a very worthwhile destination. The Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza is very close as well.)
During the height of the installation phase, about 400 jobs will be created. Once the plant is operational, about 15 to 20 permanent staff will be required. There are about 320 Moapa living in the area. They are a band of the Paiute tribe and had been called Moapats and also Nuwui.
The coal-powered Reid Gardner Power Station is located near the reservation and coal ash pollution can be a problem for the Moapa people. Senator Harry Reid from Nevada has opposed such coal plants and spoke about the new solar plant being built in his state: “Unlike the old, dirty technologies used at the nearby Reid Gardner coal plant, this new solar project will not emit any hazardous emissions, wastes, or carbon pollution.”
The Los Angeles City Council has approved an agreement to purchase power from the plant for $1.6 billion.
Image Credit: Bvburnes, Wiki Commons
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