Reid Statement On Moapa Band Of Paiutes Solar Energy Project
Project Is First-Ever Commercial Solar Energy Project On American Indian Trust Lands
June 21, 2012
Washington, D.C.- Nevada Senator Harry Reid issued the following statement after Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar approved the first-ever, utility-scale solar project approved for development on tribal lands. This project is a 350-megawatt solar energy project on tribal trust land which will directly benefit the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians in Nevada.
“I commend Secretary Salazar, the Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy, the Obama Administration, and the Moapa Band of Paiutes for their commitment to a clean energy future,” said Senator Harry Reid. “Nevada’s economic future will be much brighter if we keep working to make the Silver State into the vibrant core of a Western and national clean energy market unlike anywhere in the world. This project is a positive step in that direction and an essential part of Nevada’s and our country’s economic growth strategy. I hope this project can also serve as a model to building capacity, infrastructure and energy self-sufficiency in tribal communities and promote Indian tribal energy development.”
The project developer and the Tribe have agreed to a fifty-year lease for the 2,000 acres. The solar project will provide rental income to the Tribe and the opportunity for ownership at a later date. Ancillary benefits include tribal job training, employment, and electrification of the Tribe’s travel plaza that is currently served by diesel generators.
The Record of Decision signed today approves the construction, operation and maintenance of a low-impact photovoltaic (PV) facility and associated infrastructure. Built on approximately 2,000 acres of the Tribe’s reservation 30 miles north of Las Vegas, this clean energy project will produce enough energy to power more than 100,000 homes. According to the United States Department of Interior, this project could create about 400 construction jobs and 15-20 permanent jobs.