Trump Admin Approves the Nation’s Largest Solar Project Despite Wildlife Concerns


A crossing sign in Red Rock Canyon, Nevada, alerts motorists to the threatened Mojave desert tortoise. tobiasjo / Getty Images

A solar and battery storage project large enough to power the residential population of Las Vegas received final approval from the Department of the Interior on Monday, despite concerns from some conservationists about the project’s impact on the threatened Mojave desert tortoise.

The billion project is expected to produce 690 MW of electricity coupled with a 380 megawatt AC battery storage system, enough to power about 260,000 homes and businesses. Located on federal land near Las Vegas, the 7,000-acre project was opposed by local and regional environmental groups, who say construction activity could harm wildlife and biological soil crusts which sequester large amounts of carbon. “The solar industry is resilient and a project like this one will bring jobs and private investment to the state when we need it most,” Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, told the AP.

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