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October 26, 2014

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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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  1. sounds great except the Chinese company owner part.

  2. In most of the world you can not own land if you are not a citizen of that country but we have allowed our land to be sold from beneath our feet for the price of a beer and a hotdog. Once sold we can never get it back. Why are we not looking to lease property to the Chinese with job creation and tax minimums attached?

  3. If you think about it we are getting a good end of this. We are not sending the jobs to China, we are bringing Chinese money back into the United States and into Nevada. 2000 GOOD PAYING jobs once the plant is complete.

    This is how we are getting some of our money and jobs back that we have sent to China for the last 20 years. They are building a product that we want and need.

    9000 acres that we will now collect property tax on that has been making us nothing.

    Lots of upsides to this deal if you look at it right.

  4. I wouldn't do this! The Chinese have been buying up strategic sites all over the US. All by itself this may not be a red light but in combination with all the others it becomes a pattern of control.

    They now control the largest port on the West coast, the port of Los Angeles and the only strategic passage between the eastern and western hemisphere, the Panama Canal.

    Add those to their other acquisitions, their trade practices, their military build up, their admitted efforts to control the energy markets, their recent signed alliances with Hugo Chavez and several middle eastern countries and it is obvious that this could be a dangerous move.

    If nothing else, why would the county want to cede control of potentially strategic interests to a non-allied foreign power? If this doesn't set off danger bells, I don't know what will. Potential revenues should not blind us to the bigger picture.

    Don't do it.