Wind farm near Searchlight gets OK, could power 70,000 homes

Source: By Conor Shine, Las Vegas Sun News • Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013


Wind turbine blades from the Vestas manufacturing facility in Colorado make their way through Las Vegas on their way to the Alta Wind Energy Center (AWEC) located in the Tehachapi Pass in Kern County, California Saturday, May 19, 2012. A major renewable energy project for 87 wind turbines, capable of generating 200MW, on federal land near Searchlight received government approval Wednesday.

A major renewable energy project for 87 wind turbines on federal land near Searchlight received government approval Wednesday.

The wind farm would cover about 160 acres of a 19,000 acre piece of Bureau of Land Management property west of Searchlight and would generate 200 megawatts of energy, enough to power about 70,000 homes, according to the BLM.

The project is being built by North Carolina-based Duke Energy through its subsidiary Searchlight Wind Energy, LLC.

According to a BLM fact sheet, the project will create 275 temporary construction jobs and 15 permanent positions, generating $18.6 million in local sales and property tax revenue over the life of the project.

“Nevada is fortunate that its sunny skies, strong winds, and geothermal resources provides 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,” Searchlight native Sen. Harry Reid said in a statement.

In addition to the Searchlight wind farm, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced federal approvals for two other solar energy projects on public lands in California on Wednesday.