SACRAMENTO, Sept. 29 (UPI) — Solar projects on track for approval by California will double the state’s ability to generate electricity from solar power, state officials say.
Since August, four major solar projects including a 7,000-acre solar farm billed as the world’s largest have won approval from the California Energy Commission, which is expected to OK two more this week, USA Today reported Wednesday.
The solar farms, which use mirrors to concentrate the sun’s power to produce heat and generate electricity, could eventually produce enough electricity to power 675,000 homes, the newspaper said.
California has ample sunshine and will need it to meet its big renewable-energy goals. Last week state regulators passed measures requiring one-third of electricity sold in California to come from renewable sources by 2020.
The size of the projects shows how aggressively the state is embracing solar power.
“These are the first projects of this size in the U.S.,” Rhone Resch, CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, says. “They’re a sign to the rest of the country that solar is here, not a technology of the future.”
California’s aggressive push for solar is also being driven by an approaching federal deadline for stimulus funds.
Renewable-energy projects must be started by Dec. 31 to get federal cash grants in lieu of tax credits equal to 30 percent of the projects’ costs, USA Today reported.
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