Posted: Oct 12, 2012 12:13 PM by Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO (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."
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.
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.
Click here to submit a news tip to us!
Become a Facebook Fan!
Help those in need this holiday season
Win! Win! Win!
Wise Local Marketing!
Get news, weather and more on your smartphone and tablet!
Get texts for news, traffic, deals and more!
Sign up on KVOA.com for newsletters, exclusive deals, and more!
What's happening on News 4 @ 4
Stories and videos with Kristi's Kids
Check out the latest events FC Tucson has scheduled.
Let us help grow your business
Digital Channel 4.2
What's on KVOA and when!
Contact info for our department heads
KVOA's on air personalities!
Work at News 4 Tucson
Complete feeds of all KVOA.com stories
FCC Public File of Records, Reports, and More