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Nonprofit holds second rally against large-scale solar projects

Basin and Range Watch, a nonprofit that advocates for the conservation of deserts across California and Nevada, is returning to the site of a major solar project that was approved near Pahrump.

The nonprofit is returning to the Yellow Pine Solar Project site along Tecopa Road on Saturday for its second event against the 500-megawatt project, along with similar energy developments in the area.

“We are working to energize the local resistance and activist community, as well as raise awareness of the plight of our public lands and natural, carbon-sequestering ecosystems,” Shannon Salter, Basin and Range board member, said in an email.

Information from Basin and Range’s event states that the nonprofit is advocating for distributed energy within the urban environment, where the ecosystems on public lands would not be disturbed while the nation can switch to renewable energy sources.

Several other large solar projects have been proposed for the Nye County area.

One of them is the Rough Hat Nye County Solar Project, a 500-megawatt alternating-current photovoltaic solar electric generation facility that is proposed by Candela Renewables. The project would be located on approximately 3,400 acres of public land in Nye County on the border with Clark County southeast of Pahrump, according to a filing with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada.

Some conservation groups, including Basin and Range Watch, have argued that Rough Hat Nye, along with two other proposed projects, Rough Hat Clark and Copper Rays, could industrialize the area around Tecopa Road near Pahrump and cause big environmental losses, including some of the vegetation and could impact the desert tortoise.

Basin and Range is planning for an open mic event starting at 2 p.m. The event is set to occur off Tecopa Road, south of Highway 160, near a group of flags, according to the nonprofit.

The rally will be socially distanced and require face masks to adhere to safety precautions due to COVID-19.

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