U.S. pushes clean energy on West Coast

July 18, 2011 at 8:34 AM
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WASHINGTON, July 18 (UPI) -- Projects backed by the U.S. Department of Interior would provide enough clean energy to meet the yearly demands of more than 185,000 homes on the West Coast.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that renewable energy projects on public lands on the U.S. West Coast would use smart planning to back Washington's vision for clean energy in the country.

"The focus we have placed on smart planning and coordinated reviews of permit applications is paying dividends with new large-scale renewable energy projects that are springing to life, powering communities and creating jobs across the West," he said in a statement.

The new projects -- two solar plants and a separate transmission line in California, and a wind energy project on Oregon -- would provide a combined 550 megawatts of electricity. This is enough to meet the yearly energy demands of more than 185,000 homes, the Interior Department said.

The Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management added that it started the environmental review process for two wind projects and a solar power facility in California.

U.S. President Barack Obama in a January address to the nation laid out a clean-energy target of meeting 80 percent of U.S. energy needs with clean sources by 2035.

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