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Moapa JV targets 250MW PV farm

The Moapa Band of Paiutes in southern Nevada has entered into a joint venture that aims to develop and deploy up to 1.5GW of clean energy, with the first project to be a 250MW solar PV-natural gas hybrid.

The other partners in the newly-formed Moapa Energy are Stronghold Engineering, the largest minority woman-owned engineering, procurement and construction firm in the US, and Herbst Energy, part of the Terrible Herbst Oil Company, Nevada’s largest fuel retailer.

Through the partnership, the Moapa Band will be majority owners in the projects that will be developed and sited on the tribe’s 71,954 acres (291.1sq km) of reservation lands. The partners did not provide detail about the other projects.

The 250MW project will generate 400 million kWh of electricity annually from ground-mounted solar panels. Additional power will come from gas-fired generation at night or on the rare days when there is cloud cover.

The project is being developed with the assistance of the US Department of Energy's Tribal Energy Program.

“Generating clean, emissions-free solar power on our reservation has long been a goal of the Moapa people, and is true to our heritage of environmental consciousness, respect for the Earth and reverence of our sacred lands,” says Eric Lee, vice chairman of the Moapa Band.

“Stronghold is extremely proud to be working with the Moapa people and Herbst to construct and operate this milestone portfolio of clean energy projects,” says Stronghold chief executive Beverly Bailey.

She notes that major transmission lines pass through the reservation, meaning that the proposed projects could provide electricity for customers of nearly every major utility in Nevada and California.

Separately, the Moapa Band is leasing land for a 250MW PV farm that New York-based developer  K Road Power will build, finance and own. RES Americas is developing a 140MW facility on Moapa land that will utilize either PV or concentrating solar power with storage.

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