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Project Profile: Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project, Clark County, Nevada

Ariel view of solar farm.

Single-Axis Tracking PV Technology and would generate up to 200 MW of energy. The PV project would include PV panels on single-axis tracking systems, inverters, and an operation and maintenance building

Source: Credit to the Moapa Solar Energy Center

Project Name

Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project


Clark County, Nevada

Project Sponsor / Borrower

Moapa River Indian Reservation

Program Areas

Public-Private PartnershipProject FinanceValue Capture

Value Capture Techniques

Solar Energy Use, Right-of-Way Use Agreements, & Joint Development


Other: Solar Farm


The Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project is a 250-megawatt (MW) alternative current solar array located on roughly 2,000 acres of the Moapa River Indian Reservation in Clark County, Nevada. The project is the first large-scale solar project to receive construction approval on a tribal land in North America. It was constructed and is operated by First Solar, who began the project in 2014 after acquiring it from K Road Power Holdings, LLC. The project, which became operational in 2017, provided 115 jobs to tribal and other Native Americans during construction.

The solar array uses 3.2 million advanced photovoltaic thin firm solar modules, which translates to more than 25 million square footage worth of solar panels. It generates enough solar energy to serve approximately 111,000 homes, removing about 341,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually or the equivalent to eliminating 73,000 cars from the roads. An on-site substation and 5.5-mile, 500 kilovolt transmission line connect the solar arrays to the existing Crystal Substation that serves energy users in California.

The Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project has a Power Purchase Agreement with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to deliver clean solar energy for 25 years. It will generate millions of dollars in income for the Tribe, increase State and local tax revenues, plus create benefits for many local businesses. The project is also expected to help the City of Los Angeles achieve 50 percent of all energy from renewable resources by 2025. The project successfully obtained the following Federal actions:

  • The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) approved a solar energy ground lease and associated agreements between Moapa Solar LLC and the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians (Tribe), including associated rights-of-ways (ROWs) and easements for ancillary facilities on tribal land and
  • The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approved ROWs for an access road and transmission lines on BLM-managed lands as well as portions of a water pipeline and transmission lines within a BLM-managed utility corridor within the Reservation.

$2.38 million

Funding Sources
  • United States Department of Agriculture High Energy Cost Grant
Project Delivery / Contract Method


Private Partner Capital Dynamics
Project Advisors / Consultants
  • Developers: Moapa Southern Paiute Solar, LLC (subsidiary of First Solar, Inc.)
  • Contractors: First Solar, TerraSmart, VT Excavation, Lone Mountain Excavation, Klondyke Construction, Cupertino Electric, Bombard Electric, Eastridge Construction Solutions
  • Modules: First Solar
  • Inverters: General Electric
  • Mounting: TerraSmart


Duration / Status

The planning for the project began in 2012, construction commenced in 2014, and it was completed in June 2016. The project became operational in 2017.

Financial Status / Financial Performance

The United States Department of Agriculture High Energy Cost provided the Moapa Southern Paiute with a $2.38 million grant. The grant was awarded as it was an energy efficiency program in an area where energy costs were over 275 percent above the national average.

  • Generates millions of dollars in income for the Moapa Band of Paiutes from lease payments, consulting fees, and the purchase of goods and services
  • Generated wages and benefits for about 600 construction jobs at peak construction and up to give ongoing operation and maintenance positions
  • Increases state and local tax revenues
  • Provide educational donations for the Tribe
  • Indirectly benefits dozens of businesses in Clark County
Related Links / Articles

Terry Bohl
Director of Business Enterprises
(702) 865-2032

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