First Large Scale Solar Energy Project Proposed for Tribal Lands
Final EIS identifies 2,153 acres for solar facility
WASHINGTON –The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) today released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a proposed 350-megawatt solar energy project on tribal trust land of the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians in Clark County, Nevada.
The publication in the Federal Register tomorrow of a notice of availability begins the 30-day public comment period. Access to the Final EIS document can be viewed at: http://projects2.pirnie.com/MoapaSolar/
Proposed by KRoad Moapa Solar LLC, the project includes the construction, operation and maintenance of a low-impact photovoltaic facility and associated infrastructure on 2,153 acres located on the Moapa River Indian Reservation. The project would occupy about three percent of the Tribe’s 71,954-acres, which are held in trust by the U.S. Government.
The proposed project would be located about 30 miles northeast of Las Vegas and built in three phases of 100 megawatts to 150 megawatts each. In addition to PV panel arrays mounted on concrete foundations, project components include a 500-kilovolt transmission line and a 12- kilovolt transmission line to the existing Moapa Travel Plaza after Phase 1 is complete. No water will be used in the production of electricity, but will periodically be used for cleaning the photovoltaic panels during routine maintenance.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is the lead agency and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are cooperating agencies. This proposed federal action also requires the BLM to approve a new transmission line right-of-way within the existing BLM utility corridor on the reservation. Approximately 12 acres of BLM land would be required.
Written comments on the Final EIS can be mailed, e-mailed, hand carried or faxed to Ms. Amy Heuslein, Regional Environmental Protection Officer, BIA; Western Regional Office Branch of Environmental Quality Services, 2600 North Central Avenue, 4th Floor Mail Room, Phoenix, AZ 85004–3008; phone: (602) 379–6750; fax: (602) 379–3833; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or Mr. Paul Schlafly, Natural Resource Officer, BIA Southern Paiute Agency, 180 N. 200 E., Suite 111 or P.O. Box 720, St. George, UT 84771; phone: (435) 674–9720; fax: (435) 674–9714; e-mail: email@example.com.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is responsible for managing the BIA’s day-to-day operations through four offices – Indian Services, Justice Services, Trust Services and Field Operations – which administer or fund tribally based infrastructure, law enforcement, social services, tribal governance, natural and energy resources and trust management programs for 566 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes in 33 states through 12 regional offices and 85 agencies.