SAN FRANCISCO, March 14 (UPI) -- Renewable projects in western states approved by the government could generate enough power to meet the needs of 340,000 homes, the interior secretary said.
Outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the government approved two California solar energy projects and a wind energy project in Nevada. Combined, the facilities could generate around 1,100 megawatts of energy per year.
Salazar said the companies involved in the projects agreed to minimize the effects to the environment as well as cultural and historic resources. The Interior Department estimates that, combined, the projects would displace around 800,000 tons of greenhouse gases every year.
The McCoy Solar Energy Project in California is the largest solar project of its kind, with a planned capacity of 750 MW.
The state's Desert Harvest Solar Farm, meanwhile, would generate around 150 MW of energy from a 1,200-acre site.
In Nevada, the Searchlight Wind Energy Project will generate 200 MW of electricity.
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and chairman of the House Budget Committee, this week unveiled a 10-year plan to balance the federal budget without raising taxes. Part of the plan is critical of federal spending on renewable energy programs.