NextEra Energy’s 750-megawatt McCoy project and enXco’s 150-megawatt Desert Harvest project — both using photovoltaic panels — have been put on a new federal fast track for approval.
The White House today announced the new fast-track, which includes five other solar projects in three other Western states — two in Arizona, two in Nevada and one in Wyoming — just as U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar also announced the projects at the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas.
Both projects are planned for public land in the Riverside East solar zone between Joshua Tree National Park and Blythe. McCoy is located on the eastern side, near Blythe, while Desert Harvest is on the western side of the zone, near Desert Center and the 550-megawatt Desert Sunlight project owned by NextEra and GE, now under construction.
The two projects could provide hundreds of jobs and millions in economic activity for eastern Riverside County’s economy.
Further details on what the fast-track means — what kind of permitting deadlines we’re talking about — were not immediately available.
The announcement today comes on the heels of Monday’s announcement by Salazar that the Department of the Interior and the Department of Defense have signed an agreement to open up 16 million acres of land on U.S. military bases for renewable energy development. Defense Department officials confirmed that about 605,000 acres of land at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms could be opened for renewable development.
Check back on mydesert.com and the Green Desert blog for more information.