On December 6, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed a landmark agreement to purchase power from a solar project to be built on the Moapa River Indian Reservation in Nevada—the first-ever commercial solar project on Native American lands. The project will provide power to more than 110,000 L.A. homes.
"Today, we're signing the largest solar contract in the history of the L.A. Department of Water & Power," Villaraigosa said. "Our contract with the K Road Moapa Solar Project will provide 250 megawatts of solar power. That's enough energy to power over 113,000 homes." Below, Villaraigosa with Sierra Club leaders and Moapa Paiute President William Anderson at the ceremony. Sierra Club President Allison Chin is next to the mayor.
The Sierra Club has been actively promoting the agreement between the City of Los Angeles and the Moapa Band of Paiutes, and partnering with the tribe to retire the dirty Reid Gardner coal plant, which sits immediately adjacent to the Moapa reservation about an hour northeast of Las Vegas.
"This groundbreaking agreement is great news for everyone involved," said Mary Anne Hitt, director of the Club's Beyond Coal campaign. "From the Moapa Band of Paiutes, who are building the solar farm on their land; to the residents of Los Angeles, who will reap the benefits of cleaner electricity; and to all Americans demanding a transition to clean energy; we salute the grassroots organizing by local citizens and strong leadership from city officials that brought this project to fruition."
Chin, above with Villaraigosa, spoke at the event. Sierra Club Communications Director Bob Sipchen, below, an L.A-area native and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist formerly with the Los Angeles Times, was also on hand for the ceremony.
"The Moapa Solar Project will be a boost to the Paiutes and the Sierra Club's ongoing efforts to replace coal with clean energy in southern Nevada," Chin said. "Paiute families are suffering from high numbers of asthma attacks, heart conditions and even cancer that's associated with coal pollution from the Reid Gardner plant."
Below, Chin with educator & Angeles Chapter volunteer Wendy Legacki, and Club organizers Jasmin Vargas and Aisha Farley.