Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-Calif., has announced the first comprehensive list of 244 proposed renewable energy projects that could produce up to almost 70,000 MW of clean energy annually, building on California's aggressive renewable energy goals.
These proposed projects throughout the state include wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and small hydro facilities, and will help move California toward achieving the governor's renewable energy goal of 33% by 2020. Currently, California facilities produce just over 8,000 MW of renewable energy annually.
In October, Schwarzenegger signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to expedite the permitting process for renewable energy projects in California and appointed a special advisor to oversee the fast-tracking of the permitting process for renewable energy facilities.
Of the 244 proposed projects, up to 53 have indicated they will apply for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funds and will break ground by the end of 2010. For those proposed projects looking for federal stimulus support, 22 could generate power at utility-sized levels of larger than 200 MW, totaling more than 9,000 MW. Many of the proposed projects are currently moving through a state, federal or local permitting process.
‘I am very encouraged by the governor's renewable energy goals and his vision that development in California should occur on private and state lands, as well as on federal public lands,’ says Salazar. ‘Moving forward together on all these fronts will help ensure that we all can make responsible decisions on where to site these large projects while still protecting sensitive lands and resources in California.’
A list of the proposed projects that are currently in review or have been approved is available at energy.ca.gov. The projects are separated by those seeking ARRA funding. The project list is subject to change, as projects may lack financing, fail to meet strict environmental standards or adequately address land-use issues.