Largest U.S. Solar Panel to be Constructed

May 21, 2020

Nevada’s Department of Interior (DOI) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approved a proposal to construction and operate the largest solar power project in U.S. history. According to Construction Review Online, the state will construct a 690MW photovoltaic solar electric generating facility and ancillary facilities about 30 miles northeast of Las Vegas. 

The estimated $1B solar project could be the eighth-largest solar power facility in the world when finished and is expected to generate enough electricity to power 260,000 homes in the Las Vegas area and potential energy markets in Southern California. 

The on-site construction workforce is anticipated to average 500 to 700 construction workers, with a peak of up to 900 workers at any given time, supporting up to an additional 1,100 jobs in the local community, and injecting an estimated $712.5M into the economy in wages and total output during construction, the article reports. 

The first phase of the solar farm is expected to cover about 11 square miles of Nevada desert and produce 440 megawatts of electricity for use in the state. A second phase of construction will add the capacity to produce another 250 megawatts for use in Nevada, Arizona, or California in 2022. The project will also incorporate a battery storage system. 

According to the article, the project is expected to generate renewable electricity that would annually offset greenhouse emissions of about 83,000 cars. The companies in charge have also developed measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to other resources including visual resources, cultural and tribal resources, recreation access, and air quality.

Source: Construction Review Online & Smithsonian Magazine