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Interior secretary announces Searchlight energy project

Visual simulation from Cotton Wood Cove Road, mile marker 4. (Photo provided)
Visual simulation from Cotton Wood Cove Road, mile marker 4. (Photo provided)
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Updated: 3/13/2013 2:33 pm
SEARCHLIGHT – As part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to continue to expand domestic energy production, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the approval of the Searchlight Wind Energy Project.

It will be built on 18,949 acres of BLM-managed land near Searchlight, 60 miles southeast of Las Vegas. The permanent footprint of the 200-megawatt project will be approximately 160 acres.

The Western Area Power Administration is proposing to construct, operate and maintain a new switching station to connect the project to the existing power grid. When built, the project would provide enough electricity to power about 70,000 homes.

The facility would create an estimated 275 peak jobs, 15 full- and part-time operational jobs and generate about $18.6 million in property and sales tax revenue for local government.

“These renewable energy projects reflect the Obama Administration's commitment to expand domestic energy production on our public lands and diversify our nation's energy portfolio,” Salazar said in a statement. “In just over four years, we have advanced 37 wind, solar and geothermal projects on our public lands – or enough to power more than 3.8 million American homes.

“These projects are bolstering rural economies by generating good jobs and reliable power and strengthening our national energy security.”

"I commend Secretary Salazar and the Obama Administration for their commitment to a clean energy future and work to prioritize the development of renewable energy resources on public lands throughout the West,” said U.S. Sen. Harry Reid in a statement.

“Nevada is fortunate that its sunny skies, strong winds, and geothermal resources provide us an opportunity to brighten our economic future and transform the Silver State into the vibrant core of a Western and national clean energy market.

“I will continue to support and facilitate efforts that help to identify the best locations for utility scale renewable energy projects to be sited on federal lands and will closely monitor the progress on this and the other clean energy projects in Nevada."

-- From news release
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