US gives green light for ‘largest solar project in nation’s history’

The $1 billion solar plant 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 Las Vegas

The US Government has approved the construction and the operation of the ‘largest solar project in US history’.

The estimated $1 billion (£810m) Gemini Solar 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 Las Vegas and potentially help supply energy markets in Southern California.

The 690MW photovoltaic solar facility is estimated to generate enough renewable electricity to annually offset the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of about 83,000 cars, the equivalent of 384,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide.

It says the new plant, which will support up to 1,100 jobs in the local community and create $3 million (£2.4m) in annual revenue, is scheduled to be constructed in two phases – the first could come online in 2021, with the final completion being scheduled for 2022.

Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said: “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.”

Casey Hammond, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Exercising the Authority of the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, commented: “This action is about getting Americans back to work, strengthening communities and promoting investment in American energy.”

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