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Solar power steps up to the starting line

Flickr photo by Alex LangSolar power plant plans include using arrays of heliostat mirrors to focus solar energy on a centralized tower receiver.

Although they haven’t gotten the go-ahead yet, several major solar power plant proposals in California have advanced to the starting line.

According to E&E News PM, in just the past few days, the California Energy Commission and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management have issued final environmental impact statements for a handful of major solar power plants and recommended final approval for others.

On Friday, environmental impact statements were issued for BrightSource Energy Inc.’s 392-megawatt Ivanpah plant and Calico Solar LLC’s 850-megawatt Calico project. In addition, the federal bureau issued another recent impact statement for the 750-megawatt Imperial Valley Solar Project, and is expected to issue another before the week’s end to a 45-megawatt plant to be constructed by Chevron Energy Solutions.

Most of these projects are located in the Mojave Desert.

Meanwhile, the state’s permitting agency recommended approval of Abengoa SA’s 250-megawatt solar-thermal plant, as well as the Bright Source facility.

According to E&E News, the Bright Source facility would double the amount of solar-thermal energy produced in the United States.

Time is running out on federal stimulus funds, so state and federal agencies are hustling to get these projects cleared before the end of the year, when the money sunsets out.

Here's a list of large-scale solar projects under review by the California Energy Commission.



Filed under: Environment, Daily Report


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