U.S. Department of the Interior | Link to article
Projects to generate 1,300 Jobs, 550 MW of clean power; Supplement to Solar PEIS will offer greater clarity for solar development in the West
WASHINGTON – Advancing the Obama Administration’s commitment to rapid and responsible development of large-scale renewable energy, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the approval of four new projects on public lands, the launch of environmental reviews on three others, and the next step in a comprehensive environmental analysis to identify ‘solar energy zones’ on public lands in six western states.
“The focus we have placed on smart planning and coordinated reviews of permit applications is paying dividends with new large-scale renewable energy projects that are springing to life, powering communities, and creating jobs across the West,” said Secretary Salazar. “As we encourage innovation and the deployment of technologies through the projects approved today, we are also moving forward with an enduring solar energy program that will further spur private sector job-creation and solar power production.”
The renewable energy projects that Salazar announced today – two utility-scale solar developments in California, a wind energy project in Oregon, and a transmission line in Southern California – together will create more than 1,300 construction jobs, provide a combined 550 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 185,000 to 380,000 homes, and generate several million dollars annually in local government tax revenues. The projects are part of Interior’s “Smart from the Start” approach to processing existing applications for renewable energy development on public lands in a coordinated, focused manner with full environmental analysis and public review.
In addition, Interior’s Bureau of Land Management has issued Notices of Intent to begin environmental analyses of two wind projects and a solar energy project located in California with a combined generating capacity of more than 370 megawatts.
Salazar today also announced that the Interior Department, in cooperation with the Department of Energy, will prepare a targeted supplement to the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Solar Energy Development (Solar PEIS). First released for public review in December, 2010, the Solar PEIS will establish a framework for developing large utility-scale solar energy projects on public lands, based on landscape-level planning and the best available science, designed to promote the development in “solar energy zones” in six western states. (full release)