Recently Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell approuved 3 major renewable energy projects; the 350MW Midland Solar Energy project and the 70MW New York Canon Geothermal Project both located in Nevada as well as the 100MW Quartzsite Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) project in La Paz county in Arizona. This reflects the US government’s commitment to diversify the nation’s energy portfolio and to bolster rural economies by creating good jobs. In the past 4 years the US have approuved the construction of 25 utility-scale solar facilities, 9 windfarms and 11 geothermal plants, which together should generate up to 12,500MW of power, or more than 4.4. million homes and generating around 17000 construction and operations jobs.
Once built these three projects are expected to generate up to 520MW to the electricity grid i.e. enough energy to power 200,000 homes and to help to support more than 900 jobs through construction and operations.
The 100MW CSP project in Nevada was proposed by Quatzsite Solar Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Solar Reserve LLC from Santa Monica. The project will use concentrating solar “power tower” technology to drive steam turbine generators with heliostats on 1,600 acres of BLM-managed lands. The dry-cooling technology used requires a fraction of the water needed for wet-cooling. Overall the project should create nearly 500 jobs.