US seeks solar energy developers for Nevada nuclear bomb test site


By Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON, Feb 9 (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Energy said on Friday it is seeking developers for a commercial solar project in Nevada on federal lands where there nuclear bomb tests occurred from the 1950s to the 1990s.

The request for information for the project at the Nevada Nuclear Security Site closed on Jan. 12. The DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration got six responses from interested developers and said it will next issue a request for qualifications to identify suitable ones.

Last July the DOE said the largest U.S. solar power site and other clean energy projects could be built on lands owned by the DOE across five states including at the Hanford Site in Washington state where the U.S. government produced plutonium and uranium for atomic bombs under the Manhattan Project.

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has said the sites cleared for renewable power development are safe and "completely clean." The atomic tests at the site in Nye County, Nevada occurred mostly underground. But distant mushroom clouds could be seen in Las Vegas during above ground tests.

The NNSA and DOE have identified about 2,000 acres of contiguous land at the Nevada site that could be used for photovoltaic or concentrating solar and power storage.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by David Gregorio)

((; +1 202 380-8348 (Twitter @timogard); Reuters Messaging:

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