U.S. backs 520 megawatts of new clean energy

June 4, 2013 at 6:53 AM

WASHINGTON, June 4 (UPI) -- Three renewable energy projects planned for western U.S. states would deliver enough power to meet the needs of 200,000 homes, the interior secretary said.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced Monday she gave her consent to three renewable energy projects that combined would add 520 megawatts of clean energy to the electricity grid, enough to meet the annual energy demands of 200,000 homes.

"These projects reflect the Obama administration's commitment to expand responsible domestic energy production on our public lands and diversify our nation's energy portfolio," she said in a statement.

A 350 MW solar energy facility and a 70 MW geothermal energy project are planned for Nevada. A 100 MW solar project is slated for Arizona.

The Interior Department gave no indication as to when the projects would be completed. The government said special consideration was given to the potential environment, social and cultural impacts of project construction.

The U.S. government since 2009 has approved 25 solar facilities, 11 geothermal plants and nine wind farms. The Interior Department said the projects would eventually add enough electricity to the national grid to meet the annual energy demands of 4.4 million homes.

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