SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — Federal officials have approved a plan that sets aside public lands across the West for big solar power plants, cementing a new government approach to renewable energy development after years of delays and false starts.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar called the new plan a “roadmap … that will lead to faster, smarter utility-scale solar development on public lands.”READ MORE: Girl Fights Off Man Who Touched, Punched, Spit At Her In Milpitas Park
The plan replaces the department’s previous first-come, first-served system of approving solar projects, which mired government land managers in years of study and review of projects on a case-by-case basis.READ MORE: COVID: Youth Nights At Levi's Stadium Add A Dose Of Fun To Teens' Vaccines
Now the department is directing development toward lands with fewer conservation concerns that also are near power lines.
The new “solar energy zones” consist of 285,000 acres in six states: California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.MORE NEWS: Transient Man Arrested In Fatal Assault At Walnut Creek Civic Park
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