By CASSANDRA SWEET (Wall Street Journal)
The U.S. on Tuesday approved construction of two solar-power facilities that will be built on federal public land in California.
The two projects, proposed by units of Chevron Corp. and Irish renewable-energy developer NTR PLC, are the first solar-power facilities approved for U.S. public lands, and the first in a string of solar-power projects the government is expected to approve by the end of the year that will more than double the solar-power generation capacity in the U.S.
“These projects are milestones in our effort to rapidly and responsibly capture renewable energy resources on public lands,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said during a conference call.
NTR unit Tessera Solar obtained approval last month from California regulators to build a 709-megawatt solar-thermal power plant on federal land in California’s remote Imperial Valley. The company will use a series of large dishes lined with curved mirrors to track the sun and beam solar energy to a device that will use the energy to generate electricity.