Thursday, September 15, 2016

Obama sets aside 10 million acres in California for renewable energy and conservation

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell approved Wednesday a plan to set aside 10.8 million acres of public land in the California desert for mostly conservation — with a dash of renewable energy. Nearly a decade in the making, phase one of the Desert Renewable Energy and Conservation Plan, or DRECP, provides a blueprint to help meet ambitious state and national climate goals and to site new solar, wind, and geothermal energy projects. The plan sets aside less than 388,000 acres for renewable energy development — on land that has been found to have the least possible conflict with conservation priorities. The plan will also streamline the permitting process for clean energy development, such as wind and solar projects, because environmental surveying has already been conducted in these zones. Under the DRECP, this land has the potential to generate up to 27,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy, enough to power 8 million homes — three times the amount of solar energy that has been produced on public lands to date...more

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