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Published on March 27th, 2014 | by Zach

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First Solar & Moapa Paiute Tribe Break Ground On 250 MW Solar Project

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March 27th, 2014 by
 

Enjoy the beautiful line of diversity and the faces of happy folks breaking ground on the 250 MW Solar Project of the Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project. Community, government, and energy industry leaders symbolically joined on March 21st to actively commemorate the start of construction for the project.

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(From right to left) US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid joins Moapa Band of Paiutes Chairwoman Aletha Tom, First Solar CEO James Hughes, LADWP director of power system planning and development Randy Howard, and the Moapa Band of Paiutes Tribal Council to break ground on the 250 MW Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project.
Image Credit: First Solar

“Today’s event marks a very important milestone for Nevada, the Moapa Band of Paiutes, and tribal nations throughout the country,” said Reid. “The Moapa Southern Paiute Solar project is the first utility-scale solar project on tribal land and will deliver much needed economic benefits to the Tribe and Nevada. It will also create about 400 construction jobs, and replace dirty energy with clean solar power.”

The news release from First Solar states: “U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) joined representatives from the Moapa Band of Paiutes, executives from First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), as well as other community, government and energy industry leaders to celebrate the start of construction of the 250 Megawatt (MW)AC Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project. The project is located on the Moapa River Indian Reservation just north of Las Vegas, and has a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the LADWP to deliver clean, solar energy for 25 years to the City of Los Angeles.”

Continuing, the news release describes how much of leadership from the Moapa Band of Paiutes will help to generate clean electricity and reduce pollution:

The power plant, anticipated to be fully operational by the end of 2015, is expected to generate enough clean solar energy to serve the needs of more than 93,000 homes. This amount of renewable energy will displace approximately 313,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually—the equivalent of taking about 60,000 cars off the road.

The project will play a key role in LADWP’s efforts to build a clean energy future by expanding renewable energy to 33 percent of its total power supply and eliminating coal power. Solar energy from the Moapa plant will contribute 2.4 percent toward LADWP’s renewable energy portfolio. This transformational goal also includes reducing energy use by at least 10 percent through energy efficiency measures; expanding local solar and other forms of distributed generation; initiating a robust demand-response program; and rebuilding local power plants to better integrate renewable energy and be more flexible to meet peak demand.

Of course, this will also help the Moapa Band of Paiutes. It will create jobs and economic growth. “This is an important step in becoming a leader in Indian Country and will help to create a model for other Tribes to follow,” said Aletha Tom, Chairwoman of the Moapa Paiute Tribal Council. “If our small Tribe can accomplish this, then others can also. There are endless opportunities in renewable energy, and Tribes across the nation have the available land on which to build them.”

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Read the entire press release for more information. Enjoy some more details about the Moapa Band of Paiutes here:

The Moapa Band of Paiutes is part of the Southern Paiute Nation with a mission to preserve its homeland, particularly the 72,000 acre Moapa River Indian Reservation, by building an independent and self-governing community and providing opportunities for economic, educational and cultural growth. The Paiutes respect and honor the land and all living things upon it, and the Tribe has the ability to be a front-runner in the clean energy field. The Tribe also operates farms, the Moapa Travel Plaza, a sand and gravel operation and has other future plans for expansion at the Valley of Fire area.

Read more on related solar stories:

Native American Tribe’s Push For Solar & Wind (To Replace Coal & Keep Out Natural Gas)

First Solar Module Cost To Almost Halve (While Natural Gas Prices Increase)

First Solar And GE Team Up For Next Generation PV Plants

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



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