Tag Archives: Gov. Schwarzenegger

Smart From The Start

Today U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that his department, along with the Bureau of Land Management, had approved the necessary permits allowing for the construction of the first two solar energy projects ever deployed on U.S. public lands.

“This is an historic day for the U.S. and for California,” said Secretary Salazar speaking on conference call. “I am pleased to be moving forward into the clean energy frontier,” he said also crediting Bob Abbey, the Director of the Bureau of Land Management’s efforts in realizing these projects. “They oversee 245 million acres of public lands that could contribute significantly to the country’s energy needs.”

Suncatcher System by Stirling Energy Systems.

The nation’s first two solar projects on public lands will both be in the Golden State. The 709-megawatt (MW) Imperial Valley project just East of San Diego on 6,360 acres of public lands will generate enough solar power to provide electricity for up to 500,000 homes. The second solar project, in the Inland Empire of San Bernardino County, is a 45 MW solar project on 422 acres of public lands referred to as the Chevron Lucerne project. Combined, these two solar energy projects are expected to create about 950 jobs and infuse $1 billion into California’s economy.

“I am excited to join Secretary Salazar today in announcing the first solar projects to ever get permits on federal land, both of which will be located in the Golden State,” said Governor Schwarzenegger who missed the press conference call because he was stuck on a plane. “Today’s announcement only further cements California’s national leadership in renewable energy development – and it couldn’t have been without our federal partners. Our great partnership is helping to improve public health, grow our green economy, promote energy independence and strengthen our national security.”  – Governor Schwarzenegger

Governor Schwarzenegger has been championing these projects from the start. Barely a week ago when the California Energy Commission approved the larger Imperial Valley project (the smaller Chevron Lucerne project did not require CEC approval), the only thing standing in the way was the permitting from the Bureau of Land Management called “Records of Decision.” Now that these have been granted, the projects will qualify for the Federal Stimulus Funds in the form of 30% tax credit for overall cost of the construction of the projects. The deadline to qualify for those funds is December 31st. Salazar said he expected more projects to be approved by the end of 2010.

Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey said that they will continue with their “Smart from the start,” approach. He said that these first two solar projects are examples of how the permitting process can be streamlined “without cutting any corners for environmental reviews or ecological considerations.” He added that the projects all had extended public input from various stakeholders.

“There are 11 million acres of public lands in California deserts. The area to be disturbed is less than two-tenths of 1%,” emphasized BLM’s Abbey.  Salazar noted that now even NRDC and Sierra Club have come on board with the projects.

Commenting on the 180 permits pending for more solar project developments in the U.S., Salazar said that, “We will be pro-active so we avoid conflicts with ecological aspects we are trying to protect. It’s really no different from what we’ve done with city planning for the past 50, 60 years. We foresee thousands of solar plants sprouting up all over the nation.”  There are currently 1.3 million acres of land under application for solar projects.

The companies that will be developing the Imperial Valley solar project on public lands are owned by an Irish conglomerate, NRT, and are called Tessera Solar and Stirling Energy Systems.

READ Press Release from Department of Interior HERE.

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California Says, We Are Going To Pump You Up!

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced an award of up to $122 million over five years to the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), an Energy Innovation Hub with a team of leading researchers tasked with developing revolutionary methods to generate fuels directly from sunlight:

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger delivers comments to NARUC July 21st in Sacramento. Photo courtesy Justin Short.

The Hub will be funded at up to $22 million this fiscal year and is one of only three that will receive funding this year. For more information visit: http://www.energy.gov/news/9243.htm.

“California has always been the birthplace for the nation and the world’s newest wave of research and innovation, so it couldn’t be more fitting the Department of Energy chose our state for this groundbreaking work. This energy hub will bring together some of the best minds to work on solutions that will reduce our dependence on oil and increase our energy security, all while creating jobs in our state. We have always led the way in California, and this impressive team will help further advance our global leadership in clean energy technologies.”

As a matter of fact, there are 270 companies that want to build now in California for renewable energy,…

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger delivered remarks at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Annual Summer Committee Meetings on July 21, 2010.

Excerpts from the Partial Transcripts follow:

(Sacramento, Calif. July 21, 2010)  …And this is something that we have had in California. We have had consistency.

And this is why we have to go and do everything that we can to continue with that consistency. Why? Because we have to be and all of you have to be an inspiration to the federal government to create that consistency, because the federal government is a disaster when it comes to energy policy. They haven’t had an energy policy for decades.

We all remember when Jimmy Carter came in with some brilliant ideas about solar and about doing research and exploration of shale oil and wind and all of those kind of things. The next administration came in and said well, wait a minute. A barrel of oil is down to $10. Why are we futzing around with all this stuff over here when we can just buy the oil? And the policy was out the window. So this is not consistency, so people don’t know, should we invest in this or not invest in it? They don’t know. They’re confused.

And right now, several decades later — and I’ve watched all this since I’ve been in this country, I can tell you — it is really amazing that today the federal government still doesn’t have a policy. They have no idea how much they’re going to rely on more nuclear plants, what is their portfolio, their goal when it comes to renewable. No idea. No one can answer that question, how much should we reduce in greenhouse gases, what should our standards be, what kind of cars do we want 10 years, 20 years down the road? None of those things anyone can answer.

And this is a disaster because the rest of the world, European countries, have a goal. Even in 1976 when they started changing, when they saw the oil crisis. The Europeans stayed on course even though the oil price went down. And now, 30 years later, you see the great work that is being done in Germany, in Spain, in Portugal, Denmark and all of those European countries…  Read Entire Transcript at:  http://gov.ca.gov/

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