U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Ken Salazar announced the approval of an Oregon wind farm and a California solar facility that will be built on private lands and use power lines that cross public lands to connect to their respective power grids.
According to the DOI, the projects will deliver 379 MW of power and help support over 600 jobs through construction and operations.
In Oregon, the North Steens transmission line project is a 44-mile, 230 kV power line that will carry power from a proposed wind power project on the north side of Steens Mountain in Harney County, Ore., to Harney Electric Cooperative's existing electrical transmission grid.
The wind project, proposed on private land near Diamond, Ore., would generate 104 MW. The project would support 235 jobs and generate $4.5 million in local tax revenue over the life of the project, the DOI says.
The DOI also approved California's 275 MW Centinela solar energy project, which will connect via a 230 kV transmission line to the existing San Diego Gas & Electric Imperial Valley Substation.
In the past two years, Salazar has approved 27 major renewable energy projects, or the transmission and roads associated with them, on public lands.
When constructed, the projects are expected to create over 12,500 construction and operational jobs and produce nearly 6 GW of energy. These projects include 16 utility-scale solar energy facilities, four wind projects and seven geothermal plants, according to the DOI.