Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is hailing the $6 billion Blythe Project, to be built in the Mojave Desert near Blythe, Calif., as the start of a boom in solar power on federal lands.
The Blythe project is being developed by Solar Millennium, a German solar developer. It's slated for more than 7,000 acres of public land near the Arizona border, some 225 miles east of Los Angeles.
The project is the sixth solar power development approved by the Interior Department this month -- all in California and Nevada. Approval of a seventh project -- also in California -- is expected in the next few weeks.
All could start transmitting electricity by the end of 2011 or early 2012.
At full capacity, the seven projects would provide electricity for up to 2 million homes. The projects are expected to create more than 2,000 jobs during construction and several hundred permanent jobs.