U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar dedicated the first utility-scale solar facility built on public lands at a ceremony today near the community of Primm.
The photovoltaic plant created over 380 construction jobs, and will produce enough renewable energy to power about 9,000 Nevada homes, displacing some 42,000 metric tonnes of CO2 per year, and taking the equivalent of about 8,000 cars off the road.
"Today is about making believers out of skeptics," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. "As the first solar project on U.S. public lands completed and ready to deliver energy to thousands of homes across Nevada, the Silver State North Solar Project is really at the forefront of our nation's clean energy economy. I applaud the work and vision of many that have made this day a reality, including the Bureau of Land Management, the State of Nevada, First Solar and Enbridge."
“While traditional energy sources will be with us for a long time, it’s clear that, over time, we are transitioning to a lower carbon-intensive economy,” said Al Monaco, President, Enbridge Inc. “To that end, Enbridge has invested almost $3 billion in wind, solar, geothermal, waste heat recovery, fuel cell and a host of other alternative energy technology projects that, together, have the capacity to generate almost 1,000 megawatts of emissions-free energy. We are proud to celebrate one of our latest investments, and are particularly pleased that Secretary Salazar was able to join us to launch Silver State North.
“Along with our investment, Silver State North was made possible through the Nevada Government’s Renewable Portfolio Standards Program, the Federal Government’s incentive program under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the long-term contract that Enbridge has with NV Energy,” Mr. Monaco added. “We are also grateful to First Solar for building this project in such an environmentally responsible way.”
"We are very pleased to bring on line the first utility-scale PV solar project on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land in Nevada, which would not have been possible without support from the Department of the Interior and the hard work and dedication of county, state and BLM officials," said Frank De Rosa, First Solar Senior Vice President for Business Development, the Americas. “This is a project built by Nevadans that will use a Nevada natural resource, plentiful desert sun, to generate clean, renewable energy.”
Enbridge acquired Silver State North in March 2012. First Solar developed and constructed the facility using its advanced thin film photovoltaic modules, and will operate and maintain the project for Enbridge. First Solar expects to recognize revenue from Silver State North in the second quarter of 2012. NV Energy will purchase the facility’s output under a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement.