solar installation

On June 1, 2015, the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced the approval of the first three solar energy projects on federal lands in Nevada under the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Western Solar Plan. The three Nevada projects – Invenergy’s Harry Allen Solar Energy Center, First Solar’s Playa Solar Project, and NV Energy’s Dry Lake Solar Energy Center – are expected to generate between 440 and 480 MW of solar power and create up to 1,900 jobs.

Approved in October 2012, BLM’ Solar Energy Program, or Western Solar Plan, created Solar Energy Zones (SEZs) to access existing or planned transmission, incentivize development within SEZs, and develop a process to consider additional zones. The plan facilitates a streamlined and predictable permitting process focused on SEZs with the highest resource potential and lowest conflicts. Reduced permitting times facilitated by landscape level planning and upfront public participation increase certainty for solar developers, making SEZs more attractive for investment. Non-hardware solar “soft costs”—such as permitting, financing, and customer acquisition— is a key goal of the SEZs.

The Henry Allen Solar Energy Center will generate up to 130 MW of electricity on 715 acres of land. The Playa Solar project is located just a mile away and will generate up to 200 MW of generation and covers approximately 1,700 acres of land. The Dry Lake Solar Energy Center will generate up to 150 MW of electricy on approximately 660 acres of land. Together the projects, which are located 15 miles northeast of Las Vegas, will rival the 392 MW Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System – a project owned by a consortium comprising NRG Energy, BrightSource, Google and Bechtel – that is located in the Mojave Desert of California.

Originally published by EnerKnol.

EnerKnol provides U.S. energy policy research and data services to support investment decisions across all sectors of the energy industry. Headquartered in New York City, EnerKnol is proud to be a NYC ACRE company.