Expected to produce electricity to power about 80,000 California homes, the 250MW project is due to be completed in 2016, Associated Press reports.

First Solar representative said that the 250MW project features arrays on almost 4 square miles of federal land in Las Vegas to capture solar energy.

Federal Bureau of Land Management chief Neil Kornze was quoted by the news agency as saying: "The Silver State South Solar Project is another step forward in using clean and abundant energy resources to make energy and create good-paying jobs."

The project is being developed by First Solar adjacent to a 50MW Silver State North project on almost 1 square mile of federal land near Primm.

Owned by Canada-based Enbridge, the Silver State North project sells power to NV Energy for use in the Las Vegas area.

NextEra subsidiary will own the Silver State South plant, which will provide power to Southern California Edison as part of a long-term contract.

NextEra president and CEO Armando Pimentel said: "Renewable energy sources such as solar power play an important role in the future energy mix in this country."