Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Feds approve largest-ever solar project in California

Solar electric generating station at Kramer Junction, San Bernardino Country, California.  Photo by David Nunuk.

Yesterday (October 25th), the Associated Press announced that the Obama administration has approved a thousand-megawatt solar project on federal land in southern California, the largest solar project ever planned on U.S. public lands. See full story here.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar hailed the $6 billion Blythe Solar Power Project, to be built in the Mojave Desert near Blythe, Calif., as the start of a boom in solar power on federal lands.
"Today is a day that makes me excited about the nation's future," Salazar said Monday at a news conference. "This project shows in a real way how harnessing our own renewable resources can create good jobs here at home."
The Blythe project, being developed by Solar Millennium, a German solar developer, is slated for more than 7,000 acres of public land near the Arizona border, some 225 miles east of Los Angeles.
The project is the sixth solar power development approved by the Interior Department this month — all in California and Nevada. Approval of a seventh project — also in California — is expected in the next few weeks. All could start transmitting electricity by the end of 2011 or early 2012.
At full capacity, the seven projects would generate more than 3,000 megawatts of power and provide electricity for up to 2 million homes. The projects are expected to create more than 2,000 jobs during construction and several hundred permanent jobs.
Of course these projects on federal lands are not without problems, as described in the article, but this is a step in the right direction, in my opinion.


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