Federal officials have approved a solar plant on an Indian reservation outside Las Vegas, marking the nation’s first commercial-grade solar energy project on tribal land and new territory for the Obama administration’s renewable energy agenda.
U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Thursday that he signed off on a plan with the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians that will launch a 350-megawatt solar plant capable of powering 100,000 homes.
"We do not want Indian country to be left behind as we move forward with the new energy front in the United States," Salazar said in a conference call with reporters.
The project, proposed by K Road Moapa Solar LLC, is planned on 2,000 acres of the tribe's reservation. It will connect to and help power the Moapa Travel Plaza, a truck stop near the entrance of Valley of Fire State Park, which provides much of the small tribe's income.