Yesterday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar signed an order that set aside 676,000 acres of federal land out west for the possibility of developing solar projects. Of the huge lot, 351,000 acres are located in the Mojave Desert with the rest located in areas in California, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.
The land will be studied for the next two years and environmental reviews will be performed to determine the ability to safely develop large solar projects. Protected lands are not being considered for these projects. The proposed areas in California could generate 39,000 to 70,000 MW of electricity and serve millions of homes if fully developed.
This news follows promises by Obama and Salazar to have 10 percent of the nation's electricity coming from renewable sources by 2012 and to have 13 commercial-scale solar projects under construction by the end of 2010. The two-year study will open up the areas to leasing by private companies and will cost about $22 million.
via LA Times
written by Fred, July 01, 2009
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