Project partners NextEra Energy Resources and First Solar Inc. have announced the commissioning of Silver State South, a 250 MW solar energy center capable of generating enough clean energy to power approximately 80,000 homes.
Located on federally managed land in Clark County, Nev., the project features more than 3.4 million First Solar thin-film PV panels mounted on single-axis trackers. First Solar sold the project to NextEra in 2014 and constructed it. The energy will serve Southern California Edison consumers starting this year under a 20-year power purchase agreement between the utility and NextEra Energy Resources, which will operate the project.
“Nevada has plentiful sunshine, and with the Silver State South Solar Energy Center, we are harvesting that valuable resource for the benefit of everyone in this region,” says Armando Pimentel, president and CEO of NextEra Energy Resources. “From the jobs and tax revenue it is creating, to the clean energy it will generate over the next 30 years, this is a project that all can take great pride in.”
The solar project stretches across hundreds of acres of federal land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
“America has made great strides in developing clean energy sources over the past eight years,” says BLM Director Neil Kornze. “Since the beginning of the Obama Administration, the BLM has approved 60 large-scale wind, solar and geothermal projects that will produce enough energy to power 5 million homes. It’s exciting to see Silver State South come online and continue the irreversible march toward clean power for our nation.”
According to NextEra, the project has provided a significant economic boost for Clark County, creating more than 2,100 jobs during the construction phase, with most of the workers coming from the local area. Over its operational life, the Silver State South project is expected to generate more than $78 million in property taxes to benefit local schools, first responders and other essential services in the county.
Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick says, “The investment in Nevada’s workforce has had a great positive impact on the Nevada economy.”