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The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) has approved the 200 MW Searchlight Wind Energy Project, which will be built on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management in Searchlight, Nev.

The Western Area Power Administration is proposing to construct, operate and maintain a new switching station to connect the project to the existing power grid. When built, the project will provide enough electricity to power approximately 70,000 homes, according to the DOI. The facility will create an estimated 275 peak jobs and 15 operational jobs, and generate about $18.6 million in property- and sales-tax revenue for local government.

The DOI also approved two major solar projects: the 750 MW McCoy Solar Energy Project and the 150 MW Desert Harvest Solar Farm, both of which are located in California.

All three projects underwent extensive environmental review and public comment, and the developers agreed to undertake significant mitigation efforts to minimize impacts to wildlife, water, historical, cultural and other resources, the DOI says. State and federal agencies have set up a joint compensation fund operated by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to help mitigate impacts.


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