California legislature takes steps to support solar power plant
The California legislature has approved a measure that should speed up the creation of a major new solar power installation in San Bernardino County.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the California Assembly approved a bill that would allow the owner of a proposed solar plant in the deserts outside of Los Angeles to apply for approval from the California Energy Commission.
K Road, the owner of the project, has faced opposition from environmental groups who want to see the area protected to help preserve the habitats of several threatened or endangered species, including the desert tortoise, golden eagle and bighorn sheep.
However, after the project was reworked to create a corridor for the tortoises, the plant still faced major regulatory hurdles before it could start construction because it would need to go through another entire review. The new bill will shorten that process helping bring the plant's proposed 663 megawatts of renewable electricity a little closer to reality.
California remains the country's leader in solar power, adding around 542 megawatts of new capacity in 2011, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.