US to fast track 1.5 GW of solar projects


While a number of U.S. politicians are actively working against the integration of renewable energy in the U.S., via the introduction of such laws as the No More Solyndras Act, which would see Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantees wiped out for solar and wind projects if passed, there have also been many recent positive advancements made in the industry, including the news that 285,000 acres of public land have been opened for solar development, and the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding to develop renewable energy, including solar, on public lands withdrawn for defense-related purposes.

In another positive boost for the solar industry, President Obama announced on Tuesday, August 7 that five solar projects, comprising 1,350 MW of photovoltaics and 200 MW of CSP, will be fast tracked.

"As part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above strategy to expand domestic energy production and strengthen the economy, we are working to advance smart development of renewable energy on our public lands," said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. "These seven proposed solar and wind projects have great potential to grow our nation’s energy independence, drive job creation, and power economies across the west."

The proposed solar projects are:






Target date

Solar Reserve

Quartzsite Solar Energy

100 MW



December 2012


Desert Harvest Solar Energy

150 MW


Riverside County, California

December 2012


McCoy Solar Energy

750 MW


Riverside County, California

December 2012

RES America

Moapa Solar Energy Center

200 MW

100 MW PV; 100 MW CSP

Moapa River Indian Reservation, Nevada

December 2013

First Solar

Silver State South Solar Energy project

350 MW



March 2013