Plans to spend $1bn building one of the world’s largest solar plants near Las Vegas took another step forward when US federal officials published a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the 690MW Gemini Solar and Storage project.
Publication of the EIS by the Bureau of Land Management leaves it scheduled for approval subject to a final window for protests, with a decision due within 90 days on a project that includes 380MW of storage and is lined up to sell its power to billionaire Warren Buffett’s utility NV Energy.
Gemini was among the projects seen as a test case of the extent to which the administration of President Donald Trump would allow giant renewable energy projects to proceed on federally-owned lands.
Covering almost 29 sq km, Gemini, which will store solar power for dispatch in Nevada’s early-evening peak, is being developed by Australia’s Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners and Arevia Power, based in California.
Gemini is the largest element of 1.2GW of solar PV and 590MW of battery storage NV Energy was cleared to add to its system by Nevada regulators last month, in what will be among the largest commitments seen to both in the US to date.
A Nevada law passed in April requires electricity providers in the state to supply 50% of their power from renewable sources by 2030 versus 24% on NV Energy’s system at that time.