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California processing 244 proposals for renewable energy facilities

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says the projects represent 70,000 MW of capacity that will help the state meet its 2020 goal of one-third of power from renewables.

The 244 proposed projects include solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and hydro technologies, but each project must receive regulatory approval before it can be built. Many of the proposed projects currently are moving through a state, federal or local permitting process.

More than 50 of the proposed projects have indicated that they will apply for 30% tax credit funding under the American Reinvestment & Recovery Act, and will break ground before the end of 2010. Of these larger projects, 22 would have utility-sized capacity of at least 200 MW, and they would total 9,000 MW.

“California is a pioneer in renewable energy, green jobs and environmental protection,” says Schwarzenegger. “This list of nearly 250 projects is great news for our state because, not only will these projects help us meet our long-term environmental goals, they will also create green jobs and new, clean investment in our economy now.”

In October, Schwarzenegger signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the federal Department of the Interior to expedite the permitting process for renewable energy projects in California, and he appointed a special advisor to oversee the fast-tracking of the permitting process for green power facilities. California was the first state to sign an MOU with the Department of the Interior to cooperatively develop long-term renewable energy plans and to usher eligible projects through state and federal permitting processes tha

“My administration will continue to work with our federal partners to expedite renewable energy projects to help meet our aggressive renewable energy goals, while ensuring they comply with all state and federal environmental regulations,” he adds.

Schwarzenegger established California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by executive order calling for 33% renewable energy by 2020. The California Air Resources Board will adopt regulations to increase California’s RPS and provide direction for the creation, delivery and servicing of renewable energy projects.

In November 2008, the Governor signed an executive order to streamline renewable energy permitting in the state and to increase the goal for renewable energy. The California Energy Commission (CEC) and California Department of Fish & Game then formed a cooperative relationship with the federal Bureau of Land Management and federal Fish & Wildlife Service, called the Renewable Energy Action Team, as a first-of-its-kind agreement to move renewable energy development. The REAT is reviewing the proposed facilities that have submitted applications while the CEC has prioritized renewable projects that are not on federal lands and is moving quickly to review their applications.

California has 8,000 MW of green power capacity, and needs an additional 15,000 MW to 25,000 MW to reach its target.

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Energy infrastructure  •  Geothermal  •  Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity  •  Wind power