The U.S. will expedite the approval of seven solar and wind-energy projects in four western states that will produce power for about 1.5 million homes.
The Office of Management and Budget will oversee “a government-wide effort to make the permitting and review process for infrastructure projects more efficient and effective” for facilities in Arizona, California, Nevada and Wyoming that total almost 5,000 megawatts, according to a statement today.
The effort is part of President Barack Obama’s strategy to promote wider use of renewable energy on federal land. The U.S. Interior Department has approved 31 utility-scale wind, solar and geothermal projects since 2009, with more than 7,200 megawatts of capacity.
“These 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,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in the statement.
The agency is fast-tracking the 425-megawatt Mohave Wind Energy project and the 100-megawatt Quartzsite Solar Energy farm in Arizona; the 150-megawatt Desert Harvest and NextEra Energy Inc. (NEE)’s 750-megawatt McCoy solar sites in California; the 200- megawatt Moapa and First Solar Inc. (FSLR)’s 350-megawatt Silver State South projects in Nevada; and the 3,000-megawatt Chokecherry/Sierra Madre wind farm in Wyoming.
Quartzsite, Desert Harvest and McCoy are expected to receive final permitting and reviews by December, according to the statement.
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