In yet another initiative to demonstrate Obama Administration’s commitment to renewable energy, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has approved three major renewable energy projects with a capacity of 1,100 megawatts.
The projects include a 750-megawatt McCoy Solar Energy Project and a 150-megawatt Desert Harvest Solar Farm located in California’s Riverside East Solar Energy Zone – and a 200-megawatt Searchlight Wind Energy Project to be constructed on public lands in Clark County, Nevada.
With about 1,100 megawatts of power, these projects are sufficient to power more than 340,000 homes. During construction and operations, the projects are expected to bring more than 1,000 jobs, according to officials.
The McCoy Solar Energy Project, located about 13 miles northwest of Blythe, CA (News - Alert), was proposed by McCoy Solar, and would be one of the largest solar projects in the world. The project is expected to employ approximately 500 workers during peak construction, and 34 permanent jobs.
The Desert Harvest Solar Farm, proposed by EDF Renewable Energy (formerly enXco), would have a peak construction workforce of about 250 employees and create 8 permanent jobs. The facility will use an efficient single-axis tracking technology that allows the solar panel arrays to follow the sun to produce more electricity for the same amount of ground disturbance.
The Searchlight Wind Energy Project will be built on 18,949 acres of BLM-managed land near Searchlight, Nevada – 60 miles southeast of Las Vegas. The facility would create an estimated 275 peak jobs – 15 full- and part-time operational jobs.
Commenting on this development, Secretary Salazar said, “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.”
The State of California and the Department of the Interior have been partners for long to support the federal government’s clean energy goals. Since 2009, they have advanced 5 gigawatts of wind, solar, geothermal and transmission projects on public lands in California, and more than 15 gigawatts statewide.
Edited by Braden Becker