First solar plant on federal land starts production

Friday, May 11, 2012 @ 11:05 AM
posted by rene5432

The U.S. has already seen a growing number of green energy plants spring up around the country, and the federal government has supported many different types of projects. Now, Bloomberg reports the country is starting up the very first full-scale solar power plant on federal land.

Ken Salazar, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, was on hand to flip the switch on the Silver State North project.

Located in the Ivanpah Valley in Nevada, the project covers 618 acres of land owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, according to CleanTechnica, and features more than 800,000 thin-film photovoltaic panels. At peak capacity, the plant could produce as much as 50 megawatts of renewable electricity, or around enough to power 9,000 homes.

"Today is a landmark for America, a landmark for the solar industry and a landmark for how we use our public lands," said Salazar, according to Bloomberg. "We are making believers out of skeptics. A lot of people would have said three years ago that this day would never come."

The Silver State South project is even larger at 300 megawatts, which is matched by another major project in California, the Stateline Solar Farm.

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