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Solar Farm

December 18, 2009 | By Phil Willon
Los Angeles city officials are drafting a master plan for a proposed solar farm and possibly a state park on Owens Lake, drained nearly a century ago when its water was diverted to the Los Angeles Aqueduct, officials said Thursday. Representatives with the Department of Water and Power disclosed the concept when they appeared before the California State Lands Commission, which has regulatory authority over the dusty lake bed near Lone Pine. Commission members, meeting in San Diego, said they were intrigued by the idea but remain wary because of the DWP's history of using its ample political power to get its way and not cooperate with the state panel.
December 16, 2009 | By Phil Willon and David Zahniser
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power announced Tuesday that it has shelved plans for a 970-acre solar farm near the Salton Sea, just as members of the City Council signaled that they were unprepared to support the project. The DWP's interim general manager, S. David Freeman, said he was troubled by the costs of the 55-megawatt project, which had been slated to go up on land purchased by the utility in 2006. Freeman made his comments moments after Councilwoman Jan Perry, who heads the council's Energy and the Environment Committee, said she planned to send the solar project back to the DWP for more work.
December 10, 2009 | By Judith Lewis
Seventeen years ago, Donna and Larry Charpied went to court to protect their backyard. The couple live and farm on a small plot of land in the Mojave Desert, not far from the southern border of Joshua Tree National Park. In 1992, they learned that a former mining company, Kaiser Ventures, was maneuvering to store 20,000 tons of garbage in an old mining pit nearby. Fearing it would ruin the fragile landscape on which they had staked their future, they bought a how-to book on environmental law and set out to stop it. There's a term for people like the Charpieds: NIMBY.
October 28, 2009 | Christi Parsons
President Obama declared today that a "consensus is building" around climate change legislation and characterized opponents as preoccupied with the past instead of a "clean energy future." Standing on the edge of a large solar-power farm, Obama urged the Senate to pass a measure that caps carbon emissions -- and to set aside arguments that it would harm the economy and costs jobs. "The closer we get, the harder the special interests are going to fight," Obama said, with the sun glinting off acres of Florida Power & Light Co. solar panels behind him as he spoke to the utility's employees.
March 3, 2009 | Marla Dickerson
Stunted by the nation's credit freeze, troubled OptiSolar Inc. of Hayward, Calif., has agreed to sell its portfolio of unfinished solar farms to one of the hottest firms in the solar industry. First Solar Inc. said Monday that it would pay OptiSolar $400 million in First Solar stock to buy the outstanding projects, which the Tempe, Ariz., company intends to complete. The portfolio includes a planned 550-megawatt facility in San Luis Obispo County known as the Topaz Solar Farm.
February 23, 2009 | Dan Weikel and David Zahniser
After buying 17,750 acres in Palmdale for an intercontinental jetport that has not gotten off the ground, Los Angeles airport officials say they might finally have a use for much of the property: a solar power facility capable of generating up to 100 megawatts of clean energy.
January 13, 2009 | Marla Dickerson
Frozen capital markets are putting the chill on a fast-growing California solar company, a sign that the economic downturn is being felt even in the state's thriving renewable-energy sector. Hayward-based OptiSolar Inc. confirmed Monday that it dismissed nearly half its 600-member workforce last week, cutting 185 jobs at its Hayward facility and 105 at a plant in Sacramento.
January 5, 2009 | Marla Dickerson
Generating clean electricity that's as cheap as power from fossil fuels is the Holy Grail of green-energy companies. A new solar project powering California homes appears to be closing in on that prize. Sempra Generation, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy in San Diego, just took the wraps off a 10-megawatt solar farm in Nevada. That's small by industry standards, enough to light just 6,400 homes. But the ramifications are potentially huge.
July 7, 2007 | From Reuters
A San Francisco-based company said Friday that it planned to build the world's largest solar power farm near Fresno. The 80-megawatt farm will occupy as many as 640 acres and upon completion in 2011 will be 17 times the size of the largest U.S. solar farm, said Cleantech America, a privately held company. The farm will also be about seven times the size of the world's biggest plant and double the largest planned farm, both in Germany.
October 28, 1985 | TOM GORMAN
When a 30-acre electricity farm was constructed here 18 months ago, there were suggestions that the solar energy industry was about to come of age. The La Jet Energy Co. of Abilene, Tex., one of a handful of companies across the United States investing in solar energy research in a big way, hoped that its field of 700 solar concentrators, pointing upward like so many giant sunflowers, would not only help generate electricity but actually become a source of profit.
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