Moapa Band clears hurdle for another solar project on reservation

A view of the project site on the Moapa Reservation in Nevada. Photo from Aiya Solar Project

The Obama administration is set to approve another solar energy project for the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians in Nevada.

The Aiya Solar Project will be located on 900 acres on the reservation. It consists of a solar photovoltaic facility capable of generating up to 100 megawatts of power and a 230 kilovolt electric transmission line to tie into existing grid.

"It will help to provide a long-term, diverse, and viable economic revenue base and job opportunities for the Moapa Band while assisting Nevada and neighboring states meet their state renewable energy needs," the project website reads.

All that's needed now are approvals from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Land Management, according to a notice published in the Federal Register on Thursday. The final environmental impact statement provides extensive information about the project.

In May 2014, the BIA approved the Solar Energy Center, a 200-megawatt solar facility. But the $438 million project was dealt a major setback later that year by Nevada regulators who said it was too costly for consumers and was not necessary.

The tribe already operates a $2.4 million solar array that powers a travel stop and convenience store along a major highway.

Federal Register Notice:
Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Aiya Solar Project, Clark County, Nevada (March 10, 2016)

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