Salazar Approves Four Clean Energy Projects in Oregon, California
The U.S. Interior Department approved the construction of four renewable energy projects on government-owned land in Oregon and California to fast-track the development of wind and solar power plants.
The approvals are the first from the agency’s priority list for 2011, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said today during a conference call, and are part of an initiative to streamline the permitting of clean energy projects on public lands.
“We are focusing Interior’s resources so that we can cut red tape without cutting corners,” Salazar said.
The agency approved Abengoa SA (ABG)’s 250-megawatt Mojave Solar Project and CSolar Development LLC’s 200-megawatt Imperial Solar Energy Center, both in California, and West Butte Wind Power LLC’s 104-megawatt wind farm in Oregon. CSolar is a unit of Tenaska Inc.
It also authorized construction of Southern California Edison Co.’s Devers-Palo Verde No. 2 Transmission Line Project, which will link solar energy plants in the deserts of Southern California and Nevada, including nine facilities with a total of more than 3,600 megawatts of capacity that the Interior Department approved last year.
The agency’s Bureau of Land Management today also initiated environmental reviews for two additional wind farms and a solar project in California that total more than 370 megawatts of capacity, it said today in a statement.
“In 2010 we began to unlock the nation’s renewable energy potential in unprecedented ways,” Salazar said. In addition to the nine solar projects, the agency also approved wind and geothermal plants with more than 400 megawatts of capacity and transmission infrastructure.
Those projects are “making believers out of the skeptics who a couple of years ago would say that we would never do it,” Salazar said.
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