Trump administration to approve largest solar farm in US


National News

January 2, 2020 - 9:59 AM

Then U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, right, tours the 550-megawatt Desert Sunlight Solar Farm on public lands in Desert Center, Calif., in 2015. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Federal officials plan to approve a massive solar farm with energy storage in the desert outside Las Vegas, paving the way for a $1-billion project that will provide electricity to Nevada residents served by billionaire Warren Buffett’s NV Energy.

At 690 megawatts across 7,100 acres, the facility would generate more power than the largest solar farm currently operating in the United States, a 579-megawatt plant in Southern California. The energy storage component — at least 380 megawatts of four-hour lithium-ion batteries, capable of storing solar power for use after dark — would also be one of the largest facilities of its kind.

The so-called Gemini project will be on federal lands, and thus requires sign-off from the Interior Department. The department’s Bureau of Land Management released a final environmental impact statement Monday, in which federal officials indicated they will approve the project after one last round of public comments, likely within 90 days.

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