First Solar has begun commercial operations at the 250MW Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project, located near the Moapa River Indian reservation area about 30 miles north of Las Vegas in the US state of Nevada.

The solar plant is spread over an area of about 2000 acres and the electricity produced from the solar plant will be enough to power about 111,000 homes.

The clean energy produced from the solar plant is expected to offset about 341,000 metric tons of carbon emissions per year.

During the construction phase, the project created about 115 jobs for the local people, especially the Native Americans.

The Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project, constructed and operated by First Solar, consists of 3.2 million of thin film photovoltaic panels manufactured by the company.

The project has a 25-year power purchase agreement in place with Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to supply clean energy to Las Vegas.

Moapa Band of Paiutes Tribal Council chairman Darren Daboda said “As a first-of-its-kind project, the Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project signifies our role as a leader in Indian Country, creating a template for other tribes to follow.

“If our small tribe can accomplish this, then others can also. There are endless opportunities in renewable energy, and tribes across the nation have the perfect areas in which to build utility-scale projects.”

In December last year, First Solar and NextEra Energy Resources have commissioned the 250MW Silver State South solar energy center in the US state of Nevada.

Spread across 2,900 acres of federal lands in Clark County managed by the US Bureau of Land Management, the plant has the capacity to generate enough clean energy to power about 80,000 homes.

Image: First Solar’s 250MW solar plant goes live near Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Courtesy of start08/