|May 13, 2020|
Sin City --> Sun City
|The Trump administration yesterday gave its final approval for the $1 billion Gemini project, a planned massive solar power plant on public lands northeast of Las Vegas. When built, the Gemini project will be the biggest solar installation in the United States, and the eighth-largest in the world. It will provide enough energy to power all 225,000 of the homes in Sin City, with more to spare.|
Analysts have expected the Interior Department to approve the project since January, pending a final 90-day public comment period. Trump generally doesn't show much love for renewables --- he's gone on bizarre tirades about the ostensible problems with wind turbines and has levied high tariffs on imported solar panels --- but his administration has generally approved of energy development on public lands, renewable or (more often) otherwise.
The coronavirus crisis has hit the clean energy industry hard --- according to one estimate, the sector lost 106,000 jobs in March alone. The Gemini project can't fix that problem, but it will be a start: The Interior Department has estimated that the plant will create 1,600 to 1,800 temporary positions during construction.