More Solar/Wind Projects In The West


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Terrific news for the renewable energy world, especially for those of you living in California and Nevada! As part of President Obama’s continuing expansion for domestic energy production on public land, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar just announced the approval of three major renewable energy projects this past week,

Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar and Governor of CA Edmund Gerald Brown Jr.with solar power project maps, credit: Justin Short, Office of Edmund G. Brown, Jr.

that will deliver 1,100 megawatts to the grid (sufficient energy to power 340,000 homes and to support more than 1,000 jobs through construction and operations.)  These three projects are:

The 750-megawatt McCoy Solar Energy Project and 150-megawatt Desert Harvest Solar Farm, both are ┬álocated in California’s Riverside East Solar Energy Zone, an area established through the Western Solar Energy Plan as most suitable for solar development. Then, there is also the 200-megawatt Searchlight Wind Energy Project that will be constructed on public lands in Clark County, Nevada. Secretary Salazar said, “In just over four years, we have advanced 37 wind, solar, and geothermal projects on our public lands (20 utility-scale solar facilities, 8 wind farms, and 9 geothermal plants, with associated transmission corridors and infrastructure to connect to established power grids)-or enough to power more than 3.8 million American homes. These projects are bolstering rural economies by generating good jobs (estimated 13,500 construction and operations jobs) and reliable power and strengthening our national energy security.” These approved projects had undergone extensive environmental review and public comment;they will displace an estimated 800,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases each year (equivalent to more than 150,000 cars), while generating tens of millions of dollars in construction payroll, local housing demand, increased tax revenue and purchases of local goods and services during construction and operation.

Now, let’s take a closer look at these solar projects: the McCoy Solar Energy Project, located about 13 miles northwest of Blythe, CA, was proposed by McCoy Solar, LLC (a subsidiary of ┬áNextEra Energy Resources, LLC). The 750-megawatt photovoltaic solar facility would be one of the largest solar projects in the world and encompasses about 7,700 acres of BLM (Bureau of Land Management)-managed lands and 477 acres of private land. The BLM worked closely with the developer to reduce the footprint by occupying only 4,394 acres of land. McCoy Solar has agreed to purchase more than 4,500 acres of habitat to protect the Desert Tortoise, Burrowing Owl, and Mojave Fringe-toed Lizard species. The project is expected to employ about 500 workers during peak construction and 34 permanent jobs. Once in operation, the facility would generate enough clean power for an estimated 225,000 homes in southern California. A 12.5-mile generation transmission line would connect the project to Southern California Edison’s Colorado River Substation. Here is the fact sheet on McCoy Solar Energy Project and here is its map.

The Desert Harvest Solar Farm was proposed by EDF Renewable Energy (formerly known as the enXco) on a site six miles north of Desert Center, CA, encompassing about 1,208 acres of BLM managed lands for the 150-megawatt photovoltaic facility.During the peak construction period, it will employ workforce of about 250 employees and create 8 permanent jobs. The BLM added requirements to insure that the plant will not contribute to overdraft of the local groundwater basin. When operational, the facility would generate enough electricity to power an estimated 45,000 homes in southern California. The project also includes an on-site substation and 230-kilovolt line to the Red Bluff Substation, which will connect the project to the Southern California Edison regional transmission grid. Here is the fact sheet on the Desert Harvest Solar project and its map.

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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