Huge Solar Project on Public Land
Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that the Obama administration has approved a thousand-megawatt solar project on federal land in southern California which will become the largest solar project on U.S. public lands to date.
Even though this project from Solar Millennium is the sixth solar power development approved by the Interior Department this month, and that means that the numbers are slowly moving up, the problem is that all these approved solar projects are located only in California and Nevada. A 7th project is slated to receive approval and it, too, will be in California.
What about the many other states? Surely, California cannot be the only state that receives abundant sunshine.
It is wonderful that the efforts of the Obama administration and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger have made it possible for solar energy to finally become part of the alternative energy landscape, but now, officials in other states need to push to make alternative energy a reality as well. Why should other states lose out on all the benefits of clean energy?
The bureaucratic red tape involved in getting government approval takes a great deal of time. It has been years since many companies applied for governmental approval to build solar installations on public lands, but more companies than not get stuck in the quagmire of paperwork. The small handful of companies who have received federal approval are currently considered "fast-tracked" as a measure to cut through some of the red tape, but unless more is done to expedite matters, California and Nevada will remain the only states that get to enjoy clean, renewable, and sustainable energy.