Largest Solar Project in US History Gets Government Approval
US Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management have granted approval to construct and operate the largest solar project in US history.
The United States (US) Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have announced that they have granted approval for the proposal to construct and operate the largest solar project in US history.
US Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt signed the Record of Decision (ROD) for Solar Partners XI, LLC to construct a 690-MW photovoltaic solar electric generating facility and ancillary facilities about 30 miles northeast of Las Vegas. The estimated USD 1 billion Gemini Solar Project (Project) could be the eighth-largest solar power facility in the world when finished and is expected to generate enough electricity to power 260,000 homes in the Las Vegas area and potential energy markets in Southern California.
“As our economy rebounds from the invisible enemy, President Trump is working to make the United States stronger than ever before. Our economic resurgence will rely on getting America back to work, and this project delivers on that objective,” said Secretary Bernhardt.
The Project will facilitate critical infrastructure investments that will create jobs and economic activity and increase renewable energy, helping to meet Federal and state energy goals.
“Despite the challenges of the coronavirus, we’re pleased to see that Nevada will soon be home to one of the biggest solar projects in the world,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “The solar industry is resilient and a project like this one will bring jobs and private investment to the state when we need it most. We appreciate the work that the Trump Administration has done to make this historic project a reality.”
The project is expected to be constructed in two phases. The first phase of power could come on-line in 2021 with final completion as early as 2022. Federal revenues are expected to be more than USD 3 million annually to the US Treasury.
Further, the project is expected to generate renewable electricity that would annually offset greenhouse emissions of about 83,000 cars (384,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent). The project also includes a 380 MW solar-powered battery system able to store and deploy over 1,400 megawatt-hours which can be used when the power is needed most.
In June 2019, we had reported that that Nevada-based power utility, NV Energy had announced the addition of nearly 1,200 MW of new solar PV generation to be built in the state, along with 590 MW of battery storage. The firm had stated that the three projects will be implemented after the company gets approval of these projects from the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada as part of its integrated resource plan filing.
One of the three projects was the Gemini Solar plus Battery Storage Project. The other two projects include the Arrow Canyon Solar Project – 200 MW solar photovoltaic project with a 75 MW – 5-hour battery storage system (BESS), and the Southern Bighorn Solar & Storage Center – 300 MW solar array that includes a 135 MW-4 hour Li-Ion BESS.