The US Department of the Interior (DOI) has approved three major renewable energy projects in Nevada and Arizona to expand domestic energy production.
Once complete, the projects are expected to generate about 520MW of electricity, enough to power nearly 200,000 homes.
The approved projects include the 350MW Midland solar energy facility, the 70MW New York Canyon geothermal project in Nevada, and the 100MW Quartzsite solar energy plant in Arizona.
Located in La Paz County, Arizona, the Quartzsite solar project will be developed by Quartzsite Solar Energy, a subsidiary of Solar Reserve, on 1,600 acres of land managed by the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
The facility will use concentrating solar power tower technology to drive steam turbine generators and dry-cooling technology, which requires a fraction of the water needed for wet-cooling.
When operational, the facility is anticipated to generate enough clean power to meet the needs of about 30,000 homes.
Located near Boulder City, Nevada, the Midland solar project will be built by Boulder Solar Power on private land across 76 acres of federal transmission corridor.
After completion, the project is expected to provide enough electricity to power around 105,000 homes.
TGP Dixie Development Company, a subsidiary of TerraGen Power, will construct the New York Canyon geothermal project and electrical transmission facility on 15,135 acres of land managed by the BLM in Pershing County.
The project, which also includes construction of an associated 230kV electrical line, will provide enough electricity to power about 60,000 homes.
US DOI Secretary Sally Jewell said: "Today’s approvals will help bolster rural economies by generating good jobs and reliable power and advance our national energy security."
Since 2009, the DOI has approved 25 utility-scale solar facilities, nine wind farms and 11 geothermal plants, with associated transmission corridors and infrastructure to connect to power grids.
On completion, the projects are expected to generate over 12,500MW of electricity, enough to power more than 4.4 million homes.
Image: US Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. Photo: Courtesy of US Department of the Interior.