Interior Green Lights First Commercial Solar Energy Project on Indian Trust Lands

ecretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has approved the first ever utility-scale solar energy project on tribal trust lands. The 350-megawatt photovoltaic facility will be built on the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians’ trust lands in Clark County, Nevada, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The tribe and project developer, K Road Moapa Solar LLC, have signed a 50-year lease for the 2,000 acres located 30 miles north of Las Vegas. The site covers three percent of the tribe’s 71,954-acres held in trust by the U.S. Government.

The solar project is expected to economically benefit the tribe, in addition to help it power more than 100,000 homes. The tribe will receive lease income and, at a later date, be presented the opportunity for ownership, the press release states. The project will create jobs—about 400 at peak construction and 15 to 20 permanent—and also provide tribal job training… Read more

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