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Obama Fast-tracks Seven Renewable Energy Infrastructure Projects

In early August, President Barack Obama announced seven solar and wind energy projects that will be expedited, including projects in Arizona, California, Nevada and Wyoming.

These infrastructure projects would produce nearly 5,000 MW of clean energy. As a part of an executive order issued in March 2012, the Office of Management and Budget is charged with overseeing a government-wide effort to make the permitting and review process for infrastructure projects more efficient and effective, saving time while driving better outcomes for the environment and local communities. Additional expedited infrastructure projects will be announced in the coming weeks.

Thanks to a coordinated and focused review process, in the past three years, the Department of the Interior has approved more utility-scale renewable energy projects on public lands than in the past two decades combined — a total of 31 new projects. 


Mohave Wind Energy (BP Wind)

State: Arizona

Coordinating Agency: Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation

Target date for completing Federal permit and review decisions: January 2013

The proposed Mohave County Wind Farm is a wind-powered electrical generation facility that would be located on about 38,099 acres of public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management and 8,960 acres of land managed by the Bureau of Reclamation in Mohave County, Arizona. If approved, it would produce up to 425 MW of wind energy and help the state of Arizona meet its targets for renewable energy.


Quartzsite Solar Energy (Solar Reserve)

State: Arizona

Coordinating Agency: Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management

Target date for completing federal permit and review decisions: December 2012

The proposed concentrating solar power plant would be located on about 1,675 acres of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. It would produce an estimated 100 MW of clean energy — enough to power about 30,000 homes — and help the State of Arizona meet its renewable energy goals.


Desert Harvest Solar Energy (enXco)

State: California

Coordinating Agency: Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management

Target date for completing federal permit and review decisions: December 2012

The proposed Desert Harvest Solar Energy project would use photovoltaic technology on about 1,200 acres in Riverside County, California. The project would produce an estimated 150 MW of solar energy, enough to power about 45,000 homes.


McCoy Solar Energy (NextEra)

State: California

Coordinating Agency: Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management

Target date for completing Federal permit and review decisions: December 2012

This proposed solar photovoltaic array would be situated on 4,893 acres in Riverside County, California. It would produce an estimated 750 MW of solar energy — enough clean energy to power 225,000 homes — while helping the state of California meet its targets for renewable energy.


Moapa Solar Energy Center (RES Americas)

State: Nevada

Coordinating Agency: Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs

Target date for completing Federal permit and review decisions: December 2013

This solar project is being developed in cooperation with the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians on a 2,000-acre site on the Moapa River Indian Reservation and on lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management in Clark County, Nevada. If approved, the 200 MW project would employ 100 MW of photovoltaic technology and 100 MW of concentrated solar power technology. Once constructed, this proposed project would be one of the first large-scale solar projects on tribal lands in the U.S.


Silver State South (First Solar)

State: Nevada

Coordinating Agency: Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management

Target date for completing Federal permit and review decisions: March 2013

The Silver State South Solar Energy project is a solar energy generation plant proposed on 13,043 acres of public land. If approved, it would produce an estimated 350 MW of clean energy using photovoltaic technology — enough to power about 105,000 homes — and help the State of Nevada meet its renewable energy goals. Construction on the 50 MW Silver State North project has been completed, making it the first solar project on public lands to be delivering power to the grid.


Chokecherry/Sierra Madre Wind Energy (Power Company of Wyoming)

State: Wyoming

Coordinating Agency: Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management

Target date for completing Federal permit and review decisions: October 2014

The proposed Chokecherry and Sierra Madre project, located on about 230,000 acres in Carbon County, Wyoming, could produce up to 3,000 MW of wind energy – enough to power over 1 million homes. The Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Farm Project is the largest proposed wind farm in North America. The project, as currently configured, avoids critical sage-grouse habitat identified as "Sage-Grouse Core Areas." Chokecherry is a multi-tiered decision process that includes a land use plan decision anticipated in October 2012, followed by review of a series of right-of-way applications through 2014.

Lead image: Blurred railroad track via Shutterstock

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