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Palmdale's Stalled Airport Land Could Become Solar Power Plant

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Photo by langalex via Flickr


Photo by langalex via Flickr
A 17,750-acre piece of land in Palmdale purchased in the early 1970s by Los Angeles World Airports could find renewed purpose if it is developed as a solar power plant, reports the LA Times.

A proposal set forth yesterday by the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners outlines a plan to turn 7,500 to 10,000 acres of the unused land into a solar power plant, leaving the rest for an eventual commercial airport--granted not the "intercontinental jetport" envisioned by the commission over thirty years ago that would have been "a global airport capable of handling supersonic transports and 100 million passengers a year."

Demand for air travel direct to the Antelope Valley as an alternative to LAX has yet to reach the height, however, such a project warrants. In fact, United Airlines was the last airline to cease serving Palmdale via U.S. Air Force runways in December 2008.

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Those in favor of using a portion of the land for a solar power project believe it "could provide a profitable use for a large portion of the vacant land as well as a source of renewable energy that would not interfere with plans for a commercial airport."

LA County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, however, is apprehensive about the project. "This land, which was acquired through eminent domain, should be used as an airport or relinquished to the people from whom the land was taken in the first place," said a spokesman.

Yesterday,the Board of Airport Commissioners "voted to solicit the ideas of energy companies and utilities interested" in the solar project, moving the new proposal for the property forward.