Plans for largest US solar field north of Vegas scrapped

Posted: July 25, 2021 by oldbrew in Energy, News, People power
Tags: ,

moapaPeople don’t want a 14 square-mile eyesore in their neighbourhood, even if it comes with a ‘saving the planet’ sales pitch. Bad for tourist business as well, in this case.
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The push to transition from carbon-emitting fuel sources to renewable energy is hitting a roadblock in Nevada, where solar power developers are abandoning plans to build what would have been the United States’ largest array of solar panels in the desert north of Las Vegas, says TechXplore.

“Battle Born Solar Project” developers this week withdrew their application with the federal Bureau of Land Management, which oversees the Moapa Valley hilltop where the panels were planned, KLAS-TV Las Vegas reported.

California-based Arevia Power told the television station that its solar panels would be set far enough back on Mormon Mesa to not be visible from the valley.

But a group of residents organized as “Save Our Mesa” argued such a large installation would be an eyesore and could curtail the area’s popular recreational activities—biking, ATVs and skydiving—and deter tourists from visiting sculptor Michael Heizer’s land installation, “Double Negative.”

Solar Partners VII LLC, another California firm involved in the project, submitted a letter to the Bureau of Land Management saying it intended to withdraw its application “in response to recent communication” with the agency, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

The proposed plant would have spanned more than 14 square miles (37 square kilometers) atop the scenic mesa and had an 850 megawatt capacity—roughly one-tenth of Nevada’s total capacity and enough to provide daytime energy to 500,000 homes, according to the company.

The stalled project presents a setback for the Western state, which aims to transition to 50% renewable energy by 2030 and currently generates roughly 28% of its utility-scale electricity from renewables.

Gov. Steve Sisolak sent a letter to federal officials in 2020 requesting they fast-track the project.

Although a majority of the state’s voters approved an energy transition ballot question last year, large-scale projects like Battle Born Solar have drawn backlash from conservationists, endangered species advocates and local businesses that cater to tourists.

Full article here.

Comments
  1. Gamecock says:

    ‘roughly one-tenth of Nevada’s total capacity and enough to provide daytime energy to 500,000 homes, according to the company’

    What they are to do at night remains unexplained.

  2. oldbrew says:

    Many of the homes will be empty several days per week during solar output as people work or attend schools etc.

  3. Graeme No.3 says:

    ‘roughly one-tenth of Nevada’s total capacity and enough to provide daytime energy to 500,000 homes’
    Doesn’t Nevada get snow in winter time?

  4. Gamecock says:

    ‘Although a majority of the state’s voters approved an energy transition ballot question last year’

    Yes, they passed Prop 6, which changes their Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50% by 2030.

    My state doesn’t have a RPS. NC does. Leading their electric utilities to do some pretty goofy things, just to meet 20%.

    I bet they think Lake Mead/Hoover Dam is their ace in the hole. But it is 161.26 feet below full pool. Seriously, it has been drying up for years. At current rate, there won’t be much power coming from it in 2030. By 2030, Nevada won’t be getting 100% of their energy. Dim the lights in Las Vegas.

    People are stuck on stupid. They watch too much TV news, and believe it.

  5. Chaswarnertoo says:

    Saving the planet? My elbow.

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