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L.A.'s Largest Solar Power Project Moves Forward, Feds Allow Separate Project in Desert

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Photo by Nick Bramhall via Flickr

Photo by Nick Bramhall via Flickr
Two major solar power projects in Southern California were announced today, proving that the state's commitment to reducing greenhouse gases may be on target. Locally, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power pushed forward plans for what will become the city's largest solar array. Meanwhile, the federal government approved the seventh large-scale solar project on public lands in Riverside County. Combined, the two projects could potentially power nearly 190,000 homes. In Los Angeles, the Board of Water and Power Commissioners approved initial environmental documents for the $15.3 million Van Norman Bypass Reservoir Solar Project. The five megawatt solar photovoltaic installation will go on top of the covered Van Norman Lakes Reservoir -- it holds 80 million gallons of treated drinking water, which is about one-third of the city’s normal supply -- in the northwest Valley neighborhood of Granada Hills.

“This is an exciting step as we launch our initiative to expand development of local solar on city-owned property,” said Board president Lee Kanon Alpert. Construction is planned for late 2011, pending funding.

Outside the Colorado Desert town of Blythe, the U.S. Department of the Interior approved a company to use 1,950 acres of public land for a 250 megawatt-producing solar project. Genesis Solar LLC will be able to use the land for at least 30 years for the $300 million endeavor. It's expected to bring 1,085 jobs at peak construction and 50 permanent positions.

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