Officials Break Ground on Moapa Paiute Tribe Solar Project

The first utility-scale solar project on tribal land is underway in Southern Nevada.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) joined representatives from the Moapa Band of Piautes and executives from First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to kick off construction on the 250 Megawatt power plant. The project is located on the Moapa River Indian Reservation north of Las Vegas. This is the project of its kind taking place on tribal land, according to Reid.

“Today’s event marks a very import milestone for Nevada, the Moapa Band of Paiutes, and tribal nations throughout the country,” he said.

The plant should be completed by the end of 2015 and will deliver power to 93,000 Los Angeles homes through a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement. The project should create about 400 construction jobs as well as an economic boost for the Moapa Band of Piautes.

“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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Ben Rowley is the web editor of Nevada Business Magazine and owner of Nevada Central Media, LLC. Ben takes an integrated media approach to getting content right and read.
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