Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project Begins Operation

The 250-megawatt solar power plant will generate sufficient energy to power approximately 111,000 homes.
Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project, Nevada
Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project, Nevada

Moapa, Nev.—Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project, a 250-megawatt AC solar energy facility located approximately 30 miles north of Las Vegas on the Moapa River Indian reservation,is now fully operational. The solar power plant is estimated to generate enough energy to power around 111,000 homes while avoiding the use of approximately 341,000 metric tons per year of carbon dioxide emissions. The prevention of carbon dioxide emissions is estimated to amount to the equivalent of taking nearly 73,000 cars off the road.

The Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project is the first utility-scale solar plant to be built on tribal land and has a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) of 25 years with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).

“There is no doubt renewable energy is the way of the future for energy sustainability, and Nevada has the unparalleled natural resources to be a national leader in investment and development of clean energy technology and job creation,” said Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. “The Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project is the perfect example of this great potential. I will continue to fight for commonsense policies and projects like this one to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, invest in clean energy, and create good paying jobs.”

The solar power plant was constructed and is operated by First Solar and features more than 3.2 million advanced First Solar thin film photovoltaic solar panels, the equivalent of more than 25 million square feet of solar panels. The 3.2 million panels, which could cover more than 450 NFL football fields, create no air or water pollution and use no water to generate power.

“We look forward to doing more projects like this in Nevada,” Georges Antoun, CCO for First Solar, said in a prepared statement. “Our PV technology is setting the standard for affordable, clean renewable energy. By continuously innovating, we are driving down the cost of solar electricity and providing a solution that addresses energy security and water scarcity. We are delivering on our commitment to build a more sustainable energy future.”

“We are very excited to begin receiving this clean renewable energy from the Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project, which 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,” added Reiko Kerr, senior assistant general manager, LADWP Power System.”

Image courtesy of DOI.gov