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Thu04242014

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Solar, wind projects approved for California and Nevada

Solar, wind projects approved for California and Nevada
Secretary Salazar and Governor Brown with solar power project maps. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of the Interior)

Three major renewable energy projects in the United States have been approved by the Department of the Interior.

Two are solar projects that will be located at California, while the third is a wind project in Nevada.

Overall, these projects are expected to bring in 1,100 megawatts of power to the grid – enough to power more than 340,000 homes – and help avoid about 800,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually.

The approvals are part of the Obama administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy aimed at expanding domestic energy production across the country, said Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior.

One of the solar projects, the 750-megawatt McCoy Solar Energy Project of McCoy Solar, LLC, will be one of the world’s largest, covering about 7,700 acres of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management and 477 acres of private land.

Located nearly 13 miles northwest of Blythe, the project is expected to provide clean electricity for around 225,000 homes in southern California. During its construction period, roughly 500 workers will be employed while 34 permanent jobs will be created during its operation.

The second solar project, EDF Renewable Energy’s Desert Harvest 150 MW solar farm, will be built six miles north of Desert Center in California and spread across 1,208 acres of B.L.M.-managed lands.

Its construction phase would employ about 250 people, with its operational phase providing 8 permanent jobs. When the facility is completed, 45,000 households in southern California will be supplied with clean power.

The Interior Department also approved the 200-megawatt Searchlight Wind Energy Project in Nevada.

The wind farm, proposed by the Western Area Power Administration, will be situated 60 miles southeast of Las Vegas and will cover 18,949 acres of land managed by B.L.M.

Approximately 275 people will be employed during its construction stage while some 15 full and part-time workers will be needed for the operation of the facility. It would also generate about $18.6 million in property and sales tax revenue for local government.

“These renewable energy projects reflect the Obama Administration's commitment to expand domestic energy production on our public lands and diversify our nation's energy portfolio,” said Secretary Salazar.

“In just over four years, we have advanced 37 wind, solar and geothermal projects on our public lands – or enough to power more than 3.8 million American homes. These projects are bolstering rural economies by generating good jobs and reliable power and strengthening our national energy security,” added Mr. Salazar. – C. Dominguez



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