The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) on Thursday announced approval of four new renewable projects on public lands, including two utility-scale solar developments in California, a wind energy project in Oregon, and a transmission line in Southern California.
The four projects are: the Abengoa Mojave Solar Project, a 250-MW solar thermal parabolic trough installation in San Bernardino County, Calif.; the Imperial Solar Energy Center, a 200-MW solar photovoltaic system in Imperial County, Calif.; the 104-MW West Butte Wind Energy Project, with 52 wind turbines in Deschutes and Crook Counties, Ore.; and the 500-kilovolt Devers-Palo Verde No. 2 Transmission Line Project in Riverside County, Calif., which will interconnect numerous proposed solar energy facilities.
The DOI also announced the launch of environmental reviews on three other projects: two wind projects and a solar energy project in California that have a combined generating capacity of more than 370 MW.
In addition, the DOI and DOE will prepare a targeted supplement to the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Solar Energy Development, which identifies "solar energy zones" on public lands in six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. First released for public review in December 2010, the PEIS will establish a framework for developing large utility-scale solar energy projects on public lands in those states, and its release is expected in fall 2011.
Sources: POWERnews, DOI