US, California shrink area for renewable energy plants

Mar 10, 2015 5:09 PM by News Staff

SAN DIEGO (AP) - State and federal officials have more than halved the amount of California desert land designated for potential renewable energy plants in a nod to local governments that want more time to set rules for large-scale solar, wind and geothermal plants on private land.

Agencies including the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and California Energy Commission said Tuesday that authorities will initially concentrate on about 10 million acres of federal land. Their original roadmap, announced in September, designated 22.5 million acres.

The latest plan puts aside potential projects on private land for the moment. The new phased approach comes after authorities fielded about 12,000 public comments on the proposal.

Environmentalists worry that limiting projects to federal land may jeopardize highly sensitive wildlife areas.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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