Environment

Moapa Band loses bid for $438M solar facility on reservation






Leaders of the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians broke ground on a solar project in March. Photo from Department of Energy

The Nevada Public Utilities Commission rejected a plan to build a $438 million solar facility on the reservation of the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians.

NV Energy and the tribe agreed to build the facility as part of the company's plan to retire a coal-fired power plant next to the reservation. State regulators, however, said the project was too costly for consumers and was not necessary.

The facility would have provided up to 200 megawatts of power. It would have allowed Nevada Power to phase out the Reid-Gardner plant, which the tribe has blamed for decades of pollution and health problems.

"This solar project would have provided hundreds of good paying jobs for Nevadans as well as economic and health benefits for the Moapa Band of Paiutes, who have been subjected to nearly five decades of pollution from the Reid-Gardner plant," Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) said in a statement. "With Nevada’s economy on the upswing, more power from clean energy sources is needed to feed the grid and fuel job creation. What more fitting then a solar plant on the Moapa Band of Paiute’s reservation?”

Instead of the Moapa Band project, NV Energy was directed to seek bids for another facility.

Get the Story:
Nevada PUC rejects NV Energy plan for Moapa solar plant (The Las Vegas Review-Journal 10/28)
Reid: Moapa energy decision a setback for Nevadans (The Las Vegas Review-Journal 10/30)
Commission rejects $438 million plan to build solar plant in Moapa Valley (The Las Vegas Sun 10/30)
Moapa Paiute solar plant blocked (The St. George Spectrum 10/31)

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Al Jazeera: Moapa Band blames coal plant for health problems (04/30)
Column: Moapa Band makes good deal for solar energy panels (04/10)
Moapa Band celebrates completion of $2.4M solar power project (04/08)
Moapa Band set to start construction on big solar power plant (08/14)
Moapa Band sues energy company over waste at power facility (08/09)
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Moapa Band to file second lawsuit over coal-fired power plant (03/26)
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