Business Mega-Farm Trump First Solar allows in Desert Desert

Mega-Farm Trump First Solar allows in Desert Desert

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(Bloomberg) – Wednesday, the Trump administration announces a solar farm farm authorization which is about 3,000 acres near Palm Springs, California, after developers have recovered their size to help threatened desert tortoises and cultural artefacts. to avoid.

Some 450 environmentalists proposed a 450-megawatt Desert First Solar project in the east of Riverside County for its careful design of lands with protected species and remains.

“It's a big project, over 2,700 acres. There is no small portion of land, and they are intended to squeeze 450 megawatts from there, ”said Casey Hammond, the acting assistant secretary of the Inland Department in land and mineral management. “If you look at how they have demolished from where they were originally – there are 1,000 acres less – and what they are going out there, utility payers should have good value.” T

The project, which is being developed by Desert Quartzite LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of First Solar, is expected to be in place by 2022. The Interior Department stated that it would provide sufficient electricity to power approximately 117,000 homes and at the same time. supply about $ 2.7 million of annual rent and fees to US Treasury. No utility signed an agreement to purchase power generated on the site.

The approval of the Interior Department comes despite President Donald Trump's criticism of renewable energy, including discouraging solar power as “very expensive” last spring. However, its administration has moved modestly to promote some solar projects on federal lands.

For example, in November, the Department's Land Management Bureau approved the Palen Palen 500-megawatt Renewable Energy Solar Project, which has been sliced ​​to include 3,140 acres in County Rivers. A month later, the agency issued a final environmental analysis, setting the stage for the early approval of the 690-megawatt Gemini solar project which was promoted in Nevada by NV Energy Inc.. Warren Buffett.

The projects are being driven by California's ambitious renewable energy targets, including a commitment to zero emission electricity by 2045.

Small rooftop solar installations are not enough to help make a major change and to meet this promise, said Shannon Eddy, executive director of the Large-Scale Solar Association, which recommends large-scale utility scale projects.

“I'd love to be able to say, surely, that we would do everything on rooftops and we don't have to get it anywhere else, but it's not enough energy,” Eddy said in a telephone interview. “We have to get all the way we can, we have to get all the utility scale we can, and we need it soon.”

First Solar shares were down 9.8% to $ 53.05 from 11:14 on Wednesday, after Barclays Plc downgraded its rating too low from overweight and reduced its price target to $ 49.

Environmental considerations

The main territory of the solar farms is the majority of the South United States. The California Desert is only rivaled by northern Africa where solar radiance – a measure of electromagnetic radiation from the sun, said Eddy.

However, some guardians have expressed concerns about the planned construction of the sun, arguing that the projects would build derelict lands and implement desert, lizard and protected plants. Also, the Native Americans fought the projects, with tribal leaders arguing that desert quartz and other ventures planned along Interstate 10 corridor in the east of Riverside County could destroy sacred sites.

Hammond Interior stressed that state and federal regulators were working with developers to minimize environmental impacts. Where an oil drilling track and other public lands projects may be relatively small – and temporary – solar projects continue longer, retaining ATV riders, hikers and others from the territory.

“This is a great idea,” said Hammond in an interview. “Are we happy to take a large amount of public land out of the community but to say that this is the best and best use yet? In this case, we were able to make that decision; this is the highest and best use at this time for this land. ”

(Updates to First Solar shares in 10th paragraph)

– With the help of Brian Eckhouse.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer A. Dlouhy in Washington at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at [email protected], Elizabeth Wasserman

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