Los Angeles to buy power from solar plant near Las Vegas

The Los Angeles City Council has approved buying renewable energy from a solar plant slated to be built on Moapa Paiutes tribal land 30 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

The council’s vote today lets the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power buy up to 250 megawatts of solar energy from developer K Road Power’s Moapa Solar Energy Center over a 25-year term.

The facility is expected to be completed in summer 2015 and would be one of the first large-scale solar projects on U.S. tribal lands.

The water and power department, which has the option to buy the facility, must supply 33 percent of its retail energy from renewable sources by 2020, according to a recent memo from the Los Angeles city attorney’s office.

Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada praised the deal, saying in a news release that he was pleased Los Angeles “took action to secure a clean energy future by using affordable and predictably priced power from Nevada.”

According to Reid, the agreement will provide clean power to more than 118,000 homes and create hundreds of construction jobs, as well as 15 to 20 permanent jobs.

“Unlike the old, dirty technologies used at the nearby Reid Gardner coal plant, this new solar project will not emit any hazardous emissions, wastes, or carbon pollution,” Reid said in the statement, referring to NV Energy’s coal-fueled, steam-electric generating plant.

Jennifer Schuricht, a spokeswoman for Las Vegas-based NV Energy, said in August that the company recently added technology “to capture 99.9 percent of particulate emissions” from the Reid Gardner Generating Station.

Moreover, its high-efficiency scrubbing systems help the plant “consistently rank” among the top 10 percent of plants nationwide for low sulfur emissions, she said at the time.

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