By Brandon Ross for Cronkite News
Federal officials said Tuesday that they are on track to decide by early next year whether two new utility-scale renewable-energy projects – one wind, one solar – can move forward in Arizona.
The Mohave County Wind Farm Project and the Quartzsite Solar Energy Project are two of seven renewable-energy projects on Western public lands for which the Obama administration said Tuesday it is expediting its review.
The Interior Department said it expects to have a decision on the 100-megawatt Quartzsite project by December and a decision on the 500-megawatt Mohave County wind farm by January.
After the decision is made on whether or not the plants can proceed, there are two more steps before construction can begin: the right-of-way grant and the notice to proceed.
The BLM said it is up to the respective companies as to when they break ground following a notice to proceed.
The fast-tracking was announced Tuesday as part of the administration’s “all-of-the-above” plan for energy development. Under that initiative, the White House said, the Interior Department has approved 31 new projects, more than were approved for the past two decades combined.
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