US Sets Aside Land for Solar Developmentby Staff
Modern Power Systems, October 19, 2012
The US government has announced the setting aside of 285 000 acres (about 445 square miles) of public land in western states for the potential development of 23 700 MW of solar power.
US Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar said the government has established a preliminary set of 17 solar energy zones in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. "This historic initiative provides a road map for landscape-level planning that will lead to faster, smarter utility-scale solar development on public lands," he said in an official statement.
The programme sets up a blueprint for utility-scale solar power projects in the western United States, part of the Interior department's programme of green energy initiatives that have led to a significant reduction in the amount of oil imported from foreign markets.
However Republican critics of president Barack Obama's energy policies have accused the administration of politicising its low-carbon initiatives. A series of wind-energy programmes announced last week, Obama's critics said, were first considered by the previous Republican administration of president George W. Bush.
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