RENEWABLE ENERGY:

Interior to start 'fast track' reviews of 5 Calif. projects

The Interior Department is ready to begin environmental reviews for five "fast track" California renewable-power projects.

The solar and wind projects could potentially be approved by December 2010, which would make them eligible for stimulus funding, Interior said yesterday. The projects would provide more than 2,000 megawatts of electricity and would be sited on about 25,000 acres.

"By putting these renewable energy projects on a fast track, we are managing our public lands not just for conventional energy development but also for environmentally responsible renewable energy production that will power our clean energy future," Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement.

The projects set for review:

  • Solar Millennium LLC and Chevron Energy Solutions' Palen Solar Power Project, a concentrated solar thermal electric generating facility with a 484-megawatt capacity located between the cities of Indio and Blythe, in Riverside County.
  • Solar Millennium LLC and Chevron Energy Solutions' Blythe Solar Power Project, a concentrated solar thermal electric generating facility with a 968-megawatt capacity also located near Blythe in Riverside County.
  • Solar Millennium LLC's Ridgecrest Solar Power Project, a solar thermal electric power generating facility with a 250-megawatt capacity located in the northern Mojave Desert, near the city of Ridgecrest.
  • NextEra Energy Resources LLC's Genesis Solar Project, a concentrated solar electric generating facility with a 250-megawatt capacity located in the Sonoran Desert near Ford Dry Lake.
  • AES's Daggett Ridge Wind Farm, with an 82.5-megawatt capacity, located near Barstow.

Interior and the California Energy Commission yesterday also released the first "fast track" draft environmental impact statement for BrightSource Energy's Ivanpah solar project, which would be built in the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County (E&ENews PM, Nov. 5).

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