Government OKs solar project near Boulder City

WASHINGTON — Plans for a 350-megawatt solar plant outside Boulder City, one of the largest renewable energy ventures in the country, took a step forward Monday.

Federal officials announced government sign-off on the Midland Solar Project, designed on a dry lake bed in Eldorado Valley to generate electricity to power up to 105,000 homes.

Fields of photovoltaic panels are planned on 1,554 acres about seven miles southwest of Boulder City. The land is owned by the city within an “energy zone” designated by the Obama administration for fast-tracked utility projects.

Eldorado Valley is already home to several other utility-scale solar arrays.

The advancing project further underscores the status of Southern Nevada as one of the most fertile areas of the country for solar energy. Korean Midland Power Company last fall signed a 50-year agreement with Boulder City to oversee the project, which will be built by Posco Engineering, another South Korean company.

Approval for the Midland Solar Project and two other renewable ventures was announced by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, and by Neil Kornze, head of the Bureau of Land Management.

Kornze said the Midland project will create about 350 jobs during construction and 10 permanent jobs afterward. Although the plant will be on private land, its transmission corridor crosses 76 acres of public land.

Also approved was the New York Canyon Geothermal Project, a 70-megawatt plant and 230-kilovolt electrical line in Pershing County, 25 miles east of Lovelock.

The 100-megawatt Quartzsite Solar Energy Project, in La Paz County, Arizona, 115 miles west of Phoenix, also was approved.

Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at or 202-783-1760. Follow him on Twitter @STetreaultDC.

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