Federal government eyes California solar project
Monday, February 07, 2011 at 6:56:01 AM – by Nate Lew
Two major government agencies may soon begin pushing forward on an effort to cover a large swath of southern California in solar panels.
A recent report issued jointly by the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Energy says the government should invest in a series of solar projects that would blanket much of southern California’s Coachella Valley in countless solar panels, according to a report from the Palm Springs newspaper the Desert Sun. The plan calls for about 80 percent of the so-called Riverside East zone – an area of about 202,000 acres – to be outfitted with solar plants.
The project would generate between 18,000 and 32,000 megawatts of electricity, create 11,000 permanent jobs in the area and pour $424 million into the economy, the report said. However, it would also create concerns related to county-mandated noise levels and more vehicles on the local highways. DOE and DOI representatives will hold a public meeting this week on these topics.
California is a state that has long been plagued by concerns over power consumption, particularly in the summer, when rolling black- and brownouts are occasionally instituted.
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