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While the said recipients of the projects expected to receive rapid permitting are Arizona, California, Nevada, and Wyoming, other projects to be handled in the same manner should be announced shortly. Altogether the projects, which will be of utility scale, will total around 5 GW, and should generate enough electricity to power 1.5 million homes.
According to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, the government is working working to advance smart development of renewable energy on our public lands. This he says, is a part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above strategy to expand domestic energy production and strengthen the economy. He also mentioned that the seven proposed solar and wind projects have great potential to grow our nation’s energy independence, drive job creation, and power economies across the west.
Of the 7 projects, two are wind farms with a combined capacity of 3.4 GW; the 425 Mohave Wind Energy Project in Arizona and the 3GW Chokecherry and Sierra Madre project in Carbon County, Wyoming (WY); Three are Solar PV projects: NextEra’s 750MW McCoy PV array and enXco’s 150MW Desert Harvest project, and First Solar’s 350MW Silver State South solar energy generation plant in Nevada, and two are CSP projects: Solar Reserve’s 100MW Quartzsite CSP proposal for Arizona, and RES Americas 200MW Moapa Solar Energy Center plan.
In the case of the Mohave Wind Project, federal permit and review decisions are now to be completed by January 2013. The aim is for final permitting decisions to be made by October 2014, while the Chokecherry/Sierra Madre project has a land use plan decision anticipated to be made in October 2012, followed by review of a series of right-of-way applications through 2014. If approved, it could generate enough electricity to power over one million homes. Proposed by Power Company of WY, it will be the largest proposed wind farm in North America. The photovoltaic (PV) projects, both planned for Riverside County, California, are due by the end of this year, while decisions will be finalized in December for the CSP projects.
The Moapa Solar Energy Center project, once approved and constructed, would be one of the first large-scale solar projects on tribal lands in the US., employing 100MW of PV technology and 100MW of CSP technology. The project is being developed in cooperation with the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians on a 2000 acre site on the Moapa River Indian Reservation in Nevada, and currently has a deadline of December 2013 for federal decisions relating to the project.
The White House statement noted the Obama Administration’s record of success in permitting an unprecedented number of utility-scale renewable energy projects.
The Department of the Interior has approved 31 new projects in the past 3 threes. More utility-scale renewable energy projects on public lands than in the past two decades combined.
by S. C.
30 august 2012, World News > America