U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar ushered in the second full day of the 2010 Solar Power International (SPI) expo on Wednesday bysigning off on the first large-scale solar energy project to be built on public land in Nevada.
Dubbed the Silver State Solar Project, Nevada’s newest clean energyproject will be built on over 600 acres in Ivanpah Valley. The50-megawatt (MW) facility will use Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar’sthin film photovoltaic (PV) modules and supply solar energy for over15,000 homes in southern Nevada’s Clark County.
There are tow main factors that led to Salazar signing the solar project into play. One is job creation: according to Newswire, the solar projects that are currently approved for construction onpublic lands across the U.S. will add hundreds of clean energy jobs tothe nation’s economy. Secondly, the Nevada solar project will help thestate reach its goal of generating 25 percent of all its power fromrenewable sources by 2025.
In his remarks, Secretary Salazar noted the win-win of clean energyand jobs creation. “Silver State is one of several renewable energyprojects in the pipeline that will help Nevada and the nation createjobs as we build a clean energy economy,” Salazar said.
After a long stretch during which approval of public land projectswas up for contention, the Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management have seemingly opened the flood gates for such projects totake place. Earlier this month, Salazar approved two public landprojects in California, the first two public-lands solar projects in the country.