Conservationists raise concern for wildlife habitat on the heels of potential solar boom in the Nevada desert

Solar energy developers are eyeing thousands of acres of federal lands inside Nevada’s rural Nye County to house commercial-scale projects capable of powering millions of homes across the West.

The proposed 14 photovoltaic power projects would cover 124,000 acres overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. If all are approved and eventually built, they would have the capacity to produce more than 14,000 megawatts of electricity, enough to power at least 4.2 million homes.

That would make the county home to the largest concentration of solar power in North America, if not the world. But the onslaught of project applications, all filed in the last 14 months, has sparked fears among some local government leaders and residents that their small communities could be overwhelmed by the industrial activity.

They worry the development would drive tourists away from nearby Death Valley National Park, ruining the vistas and austere natural beauty that draw thousands to the region each year.

Excerpt from SUN DAY Campaign‘s Wednesday, March 17, 2022 issue.

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