US Government Approves Major Wind And Solar Farm Projects

US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has announced approval of a wind farm and solar park that combined will generate enough clean electricity to power 150,000 homes.
   
One of the projects gaining approval is the 300MW Sonoran Solar Energy Project in Arizona. Based on AC solar panels, the facility will provide enough power for 90,000 homes and occupy 2,013 acres of public land.
   
The Tule Wind Project, located on 12,000 acres of public land east of San Diego, California, will host 186 megawatts of capacity and consist of 62 wind turbines. The project will pump an estimated $3.5 million into the local economy during construction and $2 million annually in overall economic output once operational.
  
With a combined capacity approaching 500MW, the two projects will also create 700 jobs during the construction phase.
  
"We have green-lighted 25 projects in the last two years, including solar, wind and geothermal facilities that are generating good jobs, strengthening local economies and laying the foundation for a sustainable energy future," said Salazar. "Together, these projects will produce the clean energy equivalent of nearly 18 coal-fired power plants, so what’s happening here is nothing short of a renewable energy revolution."
  
With both projects to be constructed on public lands, extensive environmental review first occurred to mitigate potential environmental impacts.
  
"Avoiding impacts to resources is a key priority for us as we stand up renewable energy across the country," said Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey. 
   
Salazar also announced the next steps toward developing a Mid-Atlantic Wind Energy Transmission Line that would enable up to 7,000 megawatts of wind turbine output capacity to be exported to the mains grid. Google has a stake in this project and today’s announcement adds to Google’s own issued in the last 24 hours in regard to the company’s investment in four more solar farms.