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August 31, 2015

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County to consider sale of 9,000 acres to Chinese energy company

The Clark County Commission directed staff today to consider a Chinese energy company's offer to purchase another 3,600 acres of county land for a massive solar energy plant and solar-cell factory near Laughlin.

ENN Mojave Energy Corp. now wants all 9,000 acres of available county land about 12 miles south of Laughlin, not 5,400 acres as first reported in June.

Former U.S. Sen. Richard Bryan, representing ENN, said an agreement with the county could be complete as soon as November. At that point, negotiations for a purchase-power agreement — between a power seller and potential buyer — would begin.

As soon as the agreement is struck, ENN will begin construction. If an agreement isn't reached, Bryan said, the land would revert back to Clark County.

When ENN's plans were announced, the company said the development would create 2,000 long-term manufacturing jobs paying on average $72,000 a year. The total construction cost for the solar-cell plant, industrial park and solar-energy farm was projected to be in the range of $4 billion to $6 billion.

Officials hoped construction would begin on the solar-cell plant late this year or in early 2012, with solar cells being produced by March 2013 and the first phase of the solar farm operating by March 2014.

The company's representatives have told Commissioner Steve Sisolak, whose district includes Laughlin, the addition of 3,600 acres would be used to build an "eco-city" at the site. The goal is a self-sustaining city with renewable energy generation and manufacturing as the primary source of employment for its residents.

"They have something like it near Beijing," Sisolak said.

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