Today, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) rejected NV Energy’s modified proposal to build a solar project on Moapa Band of Paiutes’ reservation land as a portion of the replacement power for the Reid Gardner coal plant. The Commission required NV Energy to provide yet more financial details to support their modified proposal to buy clean, affordable solar power generated on the Tribe’s land. The Commission voted against the original proposal on Oct. 27th, expressing concerns over the size and cost of the project. The proposal being considered today was updated by NV Energy to address those concerns. The project is expected to create over 1,000 jobs and has broad support from labor, environmental organizations, clean energy groups, and the Tribe.
When the NV Energy-owned Reid Gardner Generating Station was scheduled to retire, the utility was directed to replace the coal power. To meet a portion of the demand, NV Energy is proposing to use 175 MW (nameplate) of power generated from a solar plant being built on the Moapa Paiutes’ reservation land. By failing to approve the Moapa Solar Project, the Commission’s decision today hampers a decades-long fight to bring clean energy and economic stability to the people most impacted by the dirty coal plant.
In response to this decision, Barbara Boyle, Senior Campaign Representative with the Sierra Club, issued the following statement:
“For decades, the Moapa Band of Paiutes’ health and quality of life were deeply affected by the dirty Reid Gardner coal plant. To put the past behind them, the Tribe is looking to create over 1,000 jobs, strengthen Nevada’s clean energy leadership, and support the state’s economy by building a solar project to help replace the soon to be shuttered plant. NV Energy’s unique proposal to partner with the Tribe is integral to the project’s success, and it is disappointing that the Commission has once again kicked the can down the road by keeping this shovel-ready project from breaking ground.
We are hopeful that NV Energy will continue to pursue this groundbreaking solar project and follow up on the Commission’s suggestion to provide additional information so that it can approve the project and support creating the clean energy jobs Nevada needs.”
Reid Statement on PUC Decision on Moapa Solar Project
Las Vegas, NV – Nevada Senator Harry Reid made the following statement after the Public Utilities Commission again rejected a new proposal to build a solar project on the Moapa Paiute Indian Reservation yesterday:
“The health and economic well-being of Nevadans is best served by the state and utility divorcing ourselves from fossil fuel dependence and advancing toward clean energy independence. It took some time for the state’s largest utility to recognize this, but under their new leadership they have been exemplary in their efforts to embrace clean energy. It is frustrating to see the Public Utilities Commission continue to reject this course.
“Clean energy, especially solar, is Nevada’s future. Closing the Reid-Gardner coal plant is a critical step; however, we must take the next step and replace it with clean renewable energy that will power Nevada’s economy forward. Since 2008, clean energy has created thousands of good-paying jobs and invested billions in Nevada’s economy. We have so much more to do, there is so much potential, and the Public Utilities Commission should not stand in the way of this progress.”