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14 March 2013

Major renewable energy projects announced for California and Nevada

The Department of the Interior in the USA has announced that three major renewable energy projects will go ahead.

Two significant solar projects will be located in California, and the third is a wind project that will be located in Nevada.

The projects are expected to generate 1,100 megawatts of power for the electricity grid - which is enough to power more than 340,000 homes - and help reduce carbon emissions by approximately 800,000 metric tonnes annually.

The Obama administration’s energy strategy is aimed at expanding domestic energy production across the country and improving energy security.

The 750-megawatt McCoy Solar Energy Project of McCoy Solar, LLC, in southern California, will cover about 7,700 acres of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management and 477 acres of private land and will be one of the largest installations in the world.

The project is expected to provide clean electricity for around 225,000 homes and while being constructed will provide roughly 500 jobs while 34 permanent jobs will be created during its operation.

The second solar project, EDF Renewable Energy’s Desert Harvest 150 MW solar farm, will be built six miles north of Desert Center in California and spread across 1,208 acres of B.L.M.-managed lands.

Its construction phase would employ about 250 people, with its operational phase providing 8 permanent jobs. When the facility is completed, 45,000 households in southern California will be supplied with clean power.

The Interior Department also approved the 200-megawatt Searchlight Wind Energy Project in Nevada.

The wind farm, proposed by the Western Area Power Administration, will be situated 60 miles southeast of Las Vegas and will cover nearly 19,000 acres of land managed by B.L.M.

Approximately 275 people will be employed during its construction stage while some 15 full and part-time workers will be needed for the operation of the facility. It would also generate about US$18.6 million in property and sales tax revenue for local government.

The Obama Administration's commitment is seeing an expansion in domestic energy production on and diversify the USA energy portfolio is leading to increased investment and development of renewable energies.

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