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New 7,100-acre solar project announced for Las Vegas area

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A new solar project has been announced for the Nevada desert near Las Vegas, one that investors say will produce 690 megawatts of electricity.

Investment group Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners announced Monday the Gemini Solar Project, which will be built on federal land about 25 miles northeast of downtown Las Vegas.

According to a statement from Quinbrook, Gemini would be one of the largest solar projects in Nevada, with a combined capacity of 690 megawatts and 7,100 acres of solar panels, along with the option to include batteries.

The first phase of the project would connect with NV Energy's Crystal Substation and provide power for the local grid, the investment group says. The second phase would be able to send power to customers in Nevada, Arizona and California.

"Gemini is a uniquely positioned project in close proximity to both Las Vegas and export connections to California and Arizona," Jeff Hunter, senior managing director at Quinbrook, said in a statement. "Solar energy is on the rise in Nevada and is now being offered at historic low prices which is great news for retail consumers and local industry."

The site is next to Interstate 15, close to the Apex Industrial Park and south of the Moapa Reservation.

The Bureau of Land Management is reviewing the environmental impact of the site, and a decision is expected by July 2019, with construction due to begin shortly afterward.

BLM officials say they are accepting public comment on the Gemini project through the end of August. Scoping meetings are also expected to be held the week of July 30.

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