AD: Mesquite GamingAD: GMAFAD: MCJ

The most popular online news source, publishing news as it happens in Mesquite, Nevada. * 702.346.6432 * barbara@mesquitecitizen.com * Barbara Ellestad, Publisher * ALL Content Copyright 2011-2014

Friday, April 18, 2014
MESQUITE NEWS 
SPORTS 
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS 
OPINIONS 
WRITER'S CORNER 
COMMUNITY 
CONSUMER NEWS 
MARKETPLACE 
INTERACTIVE 

This week's poll

Has the NSA gone too far in its data collection efforts?

Yes, they need to stop
No, they are keeping us safe
I don't care

View Poll Report

 Keywords:
one or more words required
all words required
forced & ordered phrase
Multi forced & ordered phrase
words with exceptions
Help
 
 Issue date:
Date Format: dd-mm-yyyy

   
Energy Wars Raging All Around Mesquite
Posting Date: 06/26/2012

By John Taylor

“The race is on to get into solar projects in Nevada,” said Chris King, energy analyst for a Wall Street investment advisory company. “The time is right, the political climate is right, and who knows when it may all change.”

Those statements echoed the announcement by Ken Salazar, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, that the federal government has approved a 350 megawatt solar energy project on tribal land on the nearby Moapa Indian Reservation, only 35 miles from Mesquite. “This project marks a milestone of the first-ever utility scale solar project approved for tribal lands intended to strengthen tribal communities,” said Salazar.

The project is the 31st utility scale renewable energy project the Interior Department has approved since 2009. Prior to 2009, there were no energy projects permitted on public lands.

“Tribal lands hold great renewable energy potential which will fortify tribal economies, create jobs and provide clean energy all across these communities,” said Salazar.

The Moapa project is expected to create 400 jobs in the construction phase and 15-20 permanent jobs. Built by K Road Solar, a national solar company, the project will be completed in three phases of 100-150 megawatts using photovoltaic (PV) panel arrays, a 500 kilovolt transmission line to deliver power to the grid, and a 12 kilovolt transmission line to power the existing Moapa Travel Plaza during phase one.

“As part of our negotiations with the tribe, we will provide job opportunities, IBEW union jobs and training in solar energy for tribal members interested in working on this project,” said Sean Gallagher of K Road Solar. “Receiving approval is only the first step. Now we will work on power purchase agreements, details on grid connections, and lining up a work force to complete this project. We are very exciting to be involved with the Moapa Indian tribe.”

The project will create enough energy to power 100,000 homes and will generate lease income and revenue over the initial 50 year term.

The announcement comes on the heels of the conflict raging between the tribe and NV Energy over the coal powered Reid Gardner plant near the tribal lands. Residents of the reservation have long complained the plant spews large amounts of coal ash from its huge smokestacks that have caused countless health problems and premature deaths of tribal members. NV Energy denies those allegations and says it has installed emission controls that captures 99% of all particulate emissions.

“The Environmental Protection Agency is reviewing all public comments and the issues in this complaint and will be making a determinations soon,” said Margot Perez-Sullivan of the E.P.A.

Using coal to operate power plants was the main reason for the downfall of the Toquop Power Project outside of Mesquite when environmental activists successfully objected to the possible health dangers.

Another solar project was to be built on Lincoln County land on the border of Mesquite on Flat Top Mesa but the downturn in the economy scuttled that project.

However, all around Southern Nevada solar and other renewable energy projects are booming. Just down the road from the Moapa Reservation in Lincoln County, an oasis in the desert seemingly in the middle of nowhere, sporting a new housing development, schools, a world class golf course and future solar power plant, Coyote Springs plans a solar thermal energy project on private property that could generate up to 600 megawatts of power. Other projects are either in progress or completed in Searchlight, Laughlin, Boulder City, Nellis Air Force Base, Primm and the Las Vegas Water District to name a few.

“Our solar lease revenue has helped us maintain excellent levels of city services and programs during a very difficult economic time,” said Mayor Roger Tobler of Boulder City. “In addition to clean energy, Boulder City will receive stable revenue for decades to come.” The city receives approximately $12 million dollars a year from lease payments, including $9 million in upfront payments, plus the creation of an estimated 3,000 jobs.

“Native Americans love their land and they want to use their land and their natural resources the best way possible and that could be to look to the future with solar power,” said John James, a Native American energy expert. “The future is now and the future is solar.”

“We are very excited about this project and we believe it will be a positive force across our land,” said William Anderson, Chairman of the Moapa Tribal Council. “Solar Power will demonstrate and prove we care about our land, our animals, our plants and our people. We will be more self-sustaining and will show other people, including other tribes, that we are in the forefront of caring about environmental issues.”

K Road Solar is currently developing additional projects on Indian Reservations in Arizona, California, Colorado and New Mexico. A spokesman for the company was asked if he was aware if any solar companies had ever looked at Mesquite for solar projects to which he replied, “it doesn't appear as though Mesquite is actively pursuing any renewable energy projects. We are not sure why.”

Delmar Latham, General Manager for Overton Power District, explained that the policies of Overton Power are to purchase resources for the long term to insure adequate supply. “We have purchased resources through 2017. To bring in a new power resource would displace existing resources. The earliest we could bring in an existing resource is January 1, 2018.”

The Moapa Indian Reservation solar project may have an impact on the conflict with Nevada Energy's Reid Gardner coal powered plant. Tribal members say they will not give up the fight to have the plant closed down.

 

Commentary
  • Posted Date: 06/26/2012
    Solar farms are funded by the taxpayer and customer. This means you pay for it twice! It costs almost double to get solar power to your meter. If solar power is so viable, why must it be subsidized? This is a big hoax folks! Many “solar farms” built in the 80’s and 90’s have been abandoned or just left to rot, as will this one. These people are spinning lies to get free money from Obama!
    By: Big Mon
  •  
  • Posted Date: 06/26/2012
    ALL power is subsided, just like farm subsidies. I came from Texas where everything is subsidized including power and its #1 in the country. Besides, most solar plants are private companies with lots of financing already set up. You better check your facts, there are thousands of solar going up all around the country with no tax money.
    By: Sharon
  •  
  • Posted Date: 06/26/2012
    Big mom misses the point. All energy production is subsidized However alternative energy is cheaper when all costs, including health and environmental costs are factored in something overton power refuses to acknowledge Mesquite is missing out on this opportunity because of outdated overton power policies Congratulations to native americans for giving the economy a boost.
    By: mmcgreer
  •  
  • Posted Date: 06/26/2012
    Thanks Big Mon, you gave me a good laugh this morning. We give billions and billions and billions to Pakistan, Israel, Korea, Africa, half of Europe and you want to complain about doing something for us? Thanks for the chuckle.
    By: Larry
  •  
  • Posted Date: 06/26/2012
    Yep, and sounds like the mayor of Boulder City is laughing all the way to the bank. Mayor Wier are YOU paying attention? 12 mil a year ain't to shabby.
    By: Nathan
  •  
  • Posted Date: 06/26/2012
    I don't know too much about solar but I know the city of St. George has been going solar for several years and they are saving a ton of money on energy costs. Solar is going big all over Utah, especially southern Utah. It's everywhere.
    By: Bonnie
  •  
  • Posted Date: 06/26/2012
    My question is and has been: Where is our solar project? You know, the one our former mayor and scam artist Susan Holecheck got elected on in 2007? Mesquite is PERFECT for a solar facility, with better infrastructure than Moapa, Searchlight, or Coyote Springs, and thousands of acres in useless land surrounding us, and a larger customer base. If this town had any leadership or vision at all, we would have been at the front of that parade. Now, once again, we're going to be left behind.
    By: Marvin
  •  
  • Posted Date: 06/26/2012
    Dude, I would pay a little more in taxes if my electric bill went down about $150 a month. Summer is killing me.
    By: Paul
  •  
  • Posted Date: 06/26/2012
    I have to agree with Marvin. Once more we are left behid by our council who have no vision. It is sad but Mesquite has small town thinking with no leadership.
    By: Tom
  •  
  • Posted Date: 06/26/2012
    Solar is a big scam. Who do you think is paying for the $12 million? We are! and how long do the 3000 jobs last? If that's even true. I don't see any statistics on the return on investment either. Wonder why not!
    By: Mary
  •  
  • Posted Date: 06/26/2012
    You think that was difficult, wait till I tell y’all about Santa Claus, your heads are going to explode! =:-0
    By: Big Mon
  •  
  • Posted Date: 06/26/2012
    The city would be smart if it looked at this type of opportunity to diversify Mesquites economy. Mesquite could be a solar hub for Southern Nevada and that means JOBS. We need jobs now. Solar projects also bring anchillary businesses and that mean more jobs. Cities all around are going solar and Mesquite needs to diversify for growth. It would be a great opportunity for us. Screwing around with spending millions on soccer balls is insane, that brings no jobs and all the money goes to out of state companies. We need to look hard at this.
    By: Eddie
  •  
  • Posted Date: 06/26/2012
    For all you folks that think our mayor and council will consider solar, remember Mesquite doesn't even have a energy task force.
    By: Frank
  •  
  • Posted Date: 06/26/2012
    I would agree with Bonnie, part of my family live in St. G and they are putting solar everywhere in Utah.
    By: Ron
  •  
  • Posted Date: 06/27/2012
    Cedar City is also starting one of the biggest solar projects in Utah and we can complain about the council but Overton Power District is the most backward power company in Nevada. Overton Power doesn't even care about solar nor plan to get it.
    By: Art
  •  
  • Posted Date: 06/27/2012
    Anyone with half a brain should have figured out that Nevada needs to be in the forefront of both solar and wind energy. We have both in abundance! I am glad to see it beginning to happen.
    By: Karen
  •  
     
    Name  
    Email  
    Opinion (2000 Characters)  
    Publish My Opinion    
     
    CAPTCHA Image
    Reload Image
     
     
    03/31/2014 - MCJ bids adieu
    03/31/2014 - Watson wears Ms. Sr. Mesquite Crown
    03/28/2014 - Mesquite Gaming bringing new events to town
    03/27/2014 - Three VVHS Students dead, two injured in DUI Collision
    03/27/2014 - BLM Land closed for Cattle Round-up
    03/26/2014 - Council delays Splash Pad project again - Video
    03/25/2014 - Mesquite Council set to hire new Fire Chief
    03/25/2014 - D-I-Y set for Bunkerville Secondary Water system change
    03/25/2014 - Cattle Roundup delayed again
    03/24/2014 - MSG Spells Athletic Fun and Fame for Seniors
    03/24/2014 - High School Mentors enjoy first-year success
    03/24/2014 - February Real Estate Closings continue drop-off
    03/21/2014 - Eureka proposes new community initiative program
    03/21/2014 - Mesquite City Manager addresses community concerns
    03/21/2014 - Lonetti gives Johnson, Coache water right ownership
    03/21/2014 - More construction starts Monday in Virgin River gorge
    03/20/2014 - Lonetti’s Water focus of VVWD lawsuits
    03/20/2014 - Jobs, economy, Obamacare on Congressional Candidate’s mind-Video
    03/19/2014 - Pioneer Blvd road repair starts soon-Video
    03/18/2014 - ‘Scammer Mom’ gets year in jail
    03/18/2014 - Innis speaks out on IRS scandal, racism-Video
    03/17/2014 - Innis weighs in on Energy, Gold Butte, Margins Tax-Video
    03/15/2014 - Power, Water Board Election Candidates finalized
    03/14/2014 - Republican Congressional Candidate Innis speaks out on issues – Part I
    03/13/2014 - Councilman Discusses Econ Development with Chamber-Video
    03/12/2014 - Mesquite eliminated from new warehouse business consideraton
    03/12/2014 - Council delays action on Union contract
    03/11/2014 - Another try at Cattle Round-up may be imminent
    03/10/2014 - February Building Permits double in value
    03/10/2014 - Man involved in MPD Shoot-out sentenced
    03/07/2014 - Theatre Group Cuts Capers in “Anything Goes”
    03/07/2014 - February Restaurant Review – Could your kitchen pass
    03/06/2014 - Mesquite is Mad About Movies
    03/06/2014 - Testimony reveals antics of former VVWD General Manager
    03/05/2014 - Start practicing 10-digit telephone dialing
    03/05/2014 - Water Board says No to most agenda items - Video
    03/05/2014 - Two Bulldogs make All-League, FitzSimons named Coach of the Year
    03/04/2014 - No wage hikes in new City Employee Union Contract
    03/04/2014 - City releases statement on Subdivision methane gas problem
    03/03/2014 - Mesquite January Visitor Volume soars like Hot Air Balloon
    03/03/2014 - Water District, Power District Election filings open today
    02/28/2014 - Old Mesquite Landfill Methane gas leaks threaten nearby homes
    02/27/2014 - Bridge improvement work progresses in I-15 Virgin River Gorge
    02/27/2014 - Mesquite City Council approves Recreation fee increases-Video
    02/27/2014 - Masterminding the Water District 2005 Water Share Purchase -Continuing Series
    02/26/2014 - Mesquite City Council approves new Bikeway Plan-Video
    02/26/2014 - MRBI future tabled by Mesquite City Council-Video
    02/26/2014 - Mesquite Honors Its Finest with Annual Awards-Video
    02/25/2014 - New Year brings slight dip in Mesquite real estate transactions
    02/25/2014 - Mesquite Building Permits get off to slow start in January
    02/25/2014 - Mesquite Teamsters Union Contract up for vote this week
    02/24/2014 - Flight School opens in Mesquite
    02/24/2014 - Mesquite Off-Road Weekend brings out the best-Video, Slideshows
    02/24/2014 - Mesquite Is All Action, Arts, and Elegance-Slideshow
    02/21/2014 - MCJ scores victories in all Court hearings
    02/20/2014 - Former VVWD Hydrologist admits ownership in water right trade
    02/19/2014 - VVWD Board approves Pioneer Blvd road repair -Video
    02/17/2014 - Mesquite Was All Heart during Valentine Week
    02/17/2014 - Mancuso celebrates 110th major milestone - Slideshow
    02/14/2014 - Suspect in Mesquite double murder pleads guilty
    02/14/2014 - Nevada AG rules against MRB in Open Meeting Law complaint
    02/13/2014 - Attention Business Owners - MRB has money for you - Video
    02/13/2014 - Mesquite Council approves RDA loan refinancing – Video
    02/12/2014 - Mesquite celebrates Annie’s 110 birthday - Video
    02/12/2014 - First Council to have actionable goals, Mesquite Mayor declares-Video
    02/11/2014 - Exploring Domestic Violence in Mesquite-Part II-Video
    02/10/2014 - Exploring Domestic Violence in Mesquite-Part I-Video
    02/10/2014 - One Ring Phone calls are the latest scam
    02/08/2014 - Beware of water insurance salesmen
    02/07/2014 - Restaurant inspections go well in January
    02/06/2014 - Plane crash averted, Pilot lands safely - Slideshow
    02/05/2014 - December Visitor Volume biggest jump in seven years
    02/04/2014 - 'Road to somewhere' denied, appeal process started
    01/31/2014 - City Manager, Attorney discuss supposed mayoral controversy
    01/30/2014 - New Adventure Park coming to Mesquite
    01/30/2014 - Taking Nominations for NV Senior Citizen of the Year
    01/29/2014 - Golf Tourney wins national award, Police Officers commended - Video
    01/29/2014 - Mesa View welcomes Family Medicine doctor to Mesquite
    01/29/2014 - December Real Estate transactions close out good year
    01/29/2014 - City Attorney addresses rumors, innuendoes from Mayor’s absence-Video
    01/28/2014 - Surprise announcements highlight Mesquite Business Preview - Video
    01/27/2014 - Head VVHS Football Coach stepping down
    01/27/2014 - Soccer swarms Mesquite - Slideshow
    01/27/2014 - Soaring high with Mesquite Hot Air Balloon Fest - Slideshow
    01/27/2014 - Crime Spree Ends With Two Arrests
    01/27/2014 - Motion granted MCJ to quash one set of subpoenas
    01/24/2014 - Hardy ready to announce Congressional candidacy – Part II
    01/23/2014 - Restrictions in Effect for I-15 Repaving Near Moapa Valley
    01/23/2014 - Hardy ready to announce Congressional candidacy – Part I
    01/22/2014 - Water Board approves emergency pump repair
    01/21/2014 - Mesquite closes out good year for Building Permits
    01/20/2014 - MCJ Court Hearing delayed, new subpoenas issued
    01/20/2014 - Thunder of Hot Cars delights Mesquite Motor Mania enthusiasts
    01/13/2014 - A Magical Collaboration in Clay - Video
    12/23/2013 - Virgin River Gorge bridge improvements scheduled for I-15
    12/19/2013 - MCJ Editor Publisher slaps back at subpoenas in Water District lawsuits
    12/17/2013 - MCJ Editor Publisher slapped with six subpoenas in Water District lawsuit
    03/11/2013 - MCJ Sets New Policy for Article Comments

            Get our toolbar!