Two More Major U.S. Renewable Energy Projects Announced

Adding to a recent U.S. Department of the Interior (DoI) announcement of two new renewable energy projects being approved, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has approved the construction of a further two projects – a utility-scale solar power plant in California and a transmission line for a wind farm in Oregon.
Salazar says when the two projects are completed they will deliver 379 megawatts of power – enough to power 112,500 homes – and help support over 600 jobs through construction and operations.
"Today’s projects are the 26th and 27th renewable energy projects that Interior has advanced in just the last two years. As we continue to move thoughtfully and quickly toward a clean energy future, these projects are strengthening local economies by generating good jobs and reliable power."
The 275-megawatt Centinela Solar Energy Project will become part of California’s push to achieve its 33% Renewable Portfolio Standard, which requires 15,000 – 20,000-megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2020. 
The Centinela project, which will use photovoltaic solar technology to power up to 83,000 homes each year, will be built on 2,067 acres of previously disturbed private land. The solar farm is expected to generate around $30 million in tax revenue for the state over the life of the project. 
In Oregon, the North Steens Transmission Line Project is a 44-mile (approx.71 km) long, 230-kilovolt transmission line that will carry power from the proposed Echanis Wind Energy Project to be developed on the north side of Steens Mountain near Diamond, Oregon. 
The federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) utilised right-of-way powers to grant land access for the power line which will connect the new wind farm to the local electricity grid. The Echanis project is expected to support 235 jobs and and produce electricity for 30,000 homes. 
The DoI has now used its land acquisition powers to approve 27 large-scale renewable energy projects across the United States. These projects include 16 utility-scale solar energy facilities, four wind projects and seven geothermal plants. According to a DoI release, when completed, these projects will have employed over 12,500 people and produced nearly 6,600 megawatts of clean power capacity, enough to provide for the electricity needs of 2.3 million American homes.