Solar Power Plants to Rise on U.S. Land –

October 6, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO — Proposals for the first large solar power plants ever built on federal lands won final approval on Tuesday from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, reflecting the Obama administration’s resolve to promote renewable energy in the face of Congressional inaction…. Both plants are to rise in the California desert under a fast-track program that dovetails with the state’s own aggressive effort to push development of solar, wind and geothermal power. The far larger one, a 709-megawatt project proposed by Tessera Solar on 6,360 acres in the Imperial Valley, will use “Suncatchers” — reflectors in the shape of radar dishes — to concentrate solar energy and activate a four-cylinder engine to generate electricity.

These would be good projects to monitor for secondary costs. One issue is, is the land really a gift to corporations? But the issue of manufacturing and transportation costs are what I have in mind.

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