Southern Nevada solar projects approved in Dry Lake zone

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Three solar projects in the Dry Lake area in southern Nevada have been approved, marking the Interior Department's first grouped approval on public land that it had already blessed for such use.

Once complete, officials said in an announcement Monday that Invenergy's Harry Allen Solar Energy Center, First Solar's Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone Project, and NV Energy's (NYSE: NVE) Dry Lake Solar Energy Center are expected to generate enough electricity to power 132,000 homes.

The proposals passing the environmental hurdle will pay leasing fees of $5.8 million to construct solar projects on the public parcels.

The latest review process is being touted as a quick turnaround made possible by a new zoned approach.

The department blessed 19 zones in western states, establishing wildlife mitigation standards in areas considered ripe for development.

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