Two Solar Projects Approved in Nevada, California - 8 News NOW

Two Solar Projects Approved in Nevada, California

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LAS VEGAS -- Plenty of sunshine is just one of the reasons why two major solar projects are going to be built on the Nevada-California border.

The projects were announced Wednesday. They will create hundreds of jobs for southern Nevada and the energy will be sold to Southern California.

The project was big news at the Energy 2030 Conference where many people believe modernizing the way energy is used and generated is essential to Nevada's and the country's future.

The sun doesn't ever seem to quit in southern Nevada, and because of it, two new solar farms will be built on the Nevada-California border to collect the daily rays, hoping to power 170,000 homes.

Executive director of the Clean Energy Project Lydia Ball says this is big news not only for Nevada but the country as well.

"Those will be one of the larger photovoltaic projects in the U.S," Ball said. "We're going to be exporting the energy to another state. This creates a regional grid system, and shows we can develop energy here and export it out, which is going to make our economy better."

One of the solar farms, Silver State South Solar Project, will be located in Nevada, near Primm adjacent to the Silver State North Project, which is already providing power.

Around 300 people will be employed to construct it.

Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., says renewable energy is something this state is positioned to lead in.

"We don't have oil and a whole lot of natural gas in Nevada, but what we do have is an abundance of solar, wind, and geothermal," Rep. Horsford said.

Horsford says more efficient energy could bring down electric bills, help the environment, and get thousands of people to work.

"Hire more people, buy more equipment, expand and grow business, so the investment is huge for the business and has a multiplier effect on the whole state," he said.

Ball says Nevada was one of the first states to show support for innovations in energy, and it continues to do so.

"Just this pass year, we have seen another recommitment from the Legislature of Nevada, as well as NV Energy, in building more renewable energy in this state," she said.

She says support from lawmakers is everything because they already know they can count on the sun.

Environmentalists are concerned the plants will impact desert tortoise populations.

The group Defenders of Wildlife has filed a notice of intent to sue under the Endangered Species Act to block the projects.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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