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Apex agrees to dim Searchlight

Apex Clean Energy has agreed to curtail production at the proposed 200MW Searchlight wind project in south-east Nevada to protect operations at the US Navy’s China Lake base in California.

“The Navy’s agreement to implement mitigations and Apex’s commitment to curtail operations for up to 300 hours per year will allow vital navy tests to occur without interference,” said Rick Quade, deputy for test and evaluation with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition.

Apex president Mark Goodwin added: “As a former Navy pilot, I understand the critical value of protecting our nation’s security interests while we help accelerate the shift to clean electricity.”

The Virginia-based developer proposes to build up to 87 2.3MW turbines on 19,000 acres of public land in Clark County. Nearby existing power lines limit the need for new infrastructure.

The Bureau of Land Management approved the project in 2013 but the decision was appealed.

A US District Court judge this month ordered the BLM and the US Fish & Wildlife Service to prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement to address the project’s impact on golden eagles.

Apex estimates the project will generate about $50m for the area during construction and an additional $76m during its 30-year operational life. It will also create about 15 permanent local jobs.

The proponent aims to complete the wind farm in 2016 or 2017.