Moapa Solar LLC applied July 28 at the Nevada Public Utilities Commission for an exemption from the state’s Utility Environmental Protection Act since its solar project is on tribal lands.
Moapa Solar is a unit of RES Americas Developments Inc., which is a subsidiary of Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. The project site is on the Moapa River Indian Reservation. Transmission lines for the project and an access road would be on U.S. Bureau of Land Management property.
This solar photovoltaic project, the Moapa Solar Energy Center, would be up to 200 MW in size. Normally, a project of 70 MW of more would be subject to the Act, but asserting that jurisdiction here would infringe on tribal authority, the company reasoned.
In the May 12 Federal Register, BLM announced the availability of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Moapa Solar Energy Center. The Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management signed the ROD on May 1, which constitutes the final decision of the department.
Moapa Solar had applied to the BLM for a right-of-way grant on public lands to develop ancillary facilities for the 200-MW project on tribal lands. These ancillary facilities consist of roads, transmission lines and a water pipeline. The Moapa Solar Energy Center is located about 20 miles northeast of Las Vegas in Clark County, Nev.