Trump Administration surprisingly approves the largest solar project in U.S. history

The Trump Administration has approved the largest solar power project in U.S. history. The $1 billion Gemini Solar Project constructed by Solar Partners, XI LLC (Arevia) will be located in the desert just north of Las Vegas, Nevada. The plant will span approximately 7,100 acres of federal land and generate enough electricity to power 260,000 homes in the region.

When it's completely finished in 2022, the solar project will become the eighth-largest solar-producing facility in the world.

The project will produce power for NV Energy, part of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate. It will work to meet Nevada's requirement to have 50% of the state's energy produced by renewables by 2030 and 100% by 2050.

The solar farm's energy may also be shipped out to Southern California.



via Bureau of Land Management

The project will annually offset over 380,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. That's the equivalent of taking 83,000 cars off the road.

The plant will have a 380-megawatt battery storage system that will hold power created during the day to be released when demand peaks in the early evening.

"Despite the challenges of the coronavirus, we're pleased to see that Nevada will soon be home to one of the biggest solar projects in the world," Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said in a statement.

"The solar industry is resilient and a project like this one will bring jobs and private investment to the state when we need it most," she continued.

The decision is surprising given Trump's history of standing against renewable energy.

Trump has incorrectly stated that solar power is "not strong enough and it's very very expensive."

He also significantly hobbled the solar industry in 2018 by placing 30% tariffs on solar imports. The tariffs have since been reduced to 20%, but the economic damage has been significant. The tariffs cost more than 62,000 U.S. jobs and cost $19 billion in new private sector investment.

The goal was to inspire U.S. panel production but that has actually decreased since the tariffs went into effect.

The decision to build the solar panel farm show's the administration's lack of cohesive energy policy but it's a definite positive in an era when the federal government has taken a firm stance against clean, renewable energy.

In spite of the Trump Administration's war against renewables, the country had made significant strides when it comes to solar installations.

According to the EIA, a division of the Department of Energy, the U.S. produced about 11% of the world's solar energy in 2018 and it accounted for about 1.8% of the U.S. energy mix in 2019.

"Solar accounted for 40 percent of all new electric generating capacity added to the grid in 2019, more than any other energy source," the non-profit The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said in a report. That was enough energy to power 14.5 million American homes.

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Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

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Who would have thought that giving the world access to all human knowledge via the internet, the ability to follow and hear from experts on any subject via social media, and the ability to see what's happening anywhere in the world via smartphones with cameras would result in a terrifying percentage of the population believing and spouting nothing but falsehoods day in and day out?

Those of us who value facts, reason, and rational thought have found ourselves at some of our fellow citizens and thinking, "Really? THIS is how you choose to use the greatest tool humanity has ever created? To spew unfounded conspiracy theories?"

It's a marvel, truly.

Between Coronavirus/Bill Gates/5G conspiracies and QAnon/Evil Cabal/Pedophile conspiracies, I thought we were pretty much full up on kooky for 2020. But apparently not. The massive fires up and down the West Coast have ignited even more conspiracy theories, some of which local law enforcement and even the FBI have had to debunk.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

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Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

via Philanthropy Daily

On September 14, Charles "Chuck" Feeney signed the paperwork to shut down Atlantic Philanthropies. The ceremony was attended via Zoom by the philanthropies' board which included former California Governor Jerry Brown, Bill Gates, and Nancy Pelosi.

While most would think the shuttering of a philanthropic endeavor would be a sad event, it was just how Feeney planned. It marked the competition of four-decade mission to give away almost every penny of his $8 billion fortune.

Feeney has saved $2 million to live on for the remainder of his life.

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Katie Neeves (L) photo by Jayne Walsh, JK Rowling (R) photo by Sjhill, CC BY-SA 3.0

Dear JK Rowling,

I am writing this letter to say a big thank you to you. You may think it strange that a gobby trans woman such as me would wish to thank you after all your recent transphobic outpourings, but let me explain…

I certainly don't thank you for your lengthy essay last month where you describe the abuse you have suffered (for which you have my sympathy) and in which you stated that you do not hate trans people, while at the same time peddling even more anti-trans mis-information. Sadly, your diatribe directly caused some trans children to self-harm and other to attempt suicide.

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