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Largest US Solar Project, Backed By Buffett, Wins Approval

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The Trump Administration on Monday approved a proposal to construct and operate Gemini Solar Project in Nevada, which is deemed to be the largest solar project in the history of the United States. The estimated $1 billion Project will generate electricity for NV Energy companies, owned by billionaire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

When finished, the 690- megawatt photovoltaic solar project could be the eighth-largest solar power facility in the world. It is expected to generate enough electricity to power 260,000 homes in the Las Vegas area and potential energy markets in Southern California. The Project is expected to generate renewable electricity that would annually offset greenhouse emissions of about 83,000 cars.

In a statement, the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management or BLM announced the approval to construct the solar electric generating facility and ancillary facilities on approximately 7,100 acres of federal land under the management of the BLM near north of Las Vegas.

Arevia Power is constructing the project, funded by Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners. The Project has a 25-year power purchase agreement with NV Energy that will significantly expand its renewable energy portfolio.

The project includes a 380 MW solar-powered battery system able to store and deploy over 1,400 megawatt hours which can be used during high demand.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who signed the Record of Decision for Solar Partners XI, LLC, said, "As our economy rebounds from the invisible enemy, President Trump is working to make the United States stronger than ever before. Our economic resurgence will rely on getting America back to work, and this project delivers on that objective."

The Project would be constructed in two phases. The first phase could come on line in 2021 with final completion as early as 2022. It is estimated that the on-site construction workforce would be up to 900 workers at any given time, supporting up to an additional 1,100 jobs in the local community. During the construction, the project is estimated to inject about $712.5 million into the economy in wages and total output.

The Interior Department said the project is expected to bring in revenues of more than $3 million annually to the U.S. Treasury.

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