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SCIENCE
December 20, 2012 | By Julie Cart
The Department of Interior on Thursday moved a step closer to approving what could be the world's largest solar power plant,  releasing the final environmental impact statement for the  McCoy Solar facility, a proposed 750-megawatt photovoltaic plant in Riverside County. Secretary Ken Salazar announced the preferred alternative, which calls for scaling back the project's 4,400 - acre footprint to accommodate the federally threatened Mojave Desert tortoise. The McCoy plant is projected to produce 750 megawatts of power, making it the second-largest solar plant in the world.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 1, 2014 | By Julie Cart
IVANPAH VALLEY, Calif. - The day begins early at the Ivanpah solar power plant. Long before the sun rises, computers aim five square miles of mirrors to reflect the first rays of dawn onto one of three 40-story towers rising above the desert floor. The 356,000 mirrors, each the size of a garage door, focus so much light on the towers that they pulsate with a blinding white light. At the top of each tower is an enormous boiler where the sun's energy heats water to more than 1,000 degrees, creating steam that spins electricity-generating turbines.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 19, 2010
Land purchased decades ago in Palmdale for an intercontinental jetport that was never built might become a solar power plant under a proposal advanced Monday by the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners. The board voted to solicit the ideas of energy companies and utilities interested in constructing a solar farm on part of the 17,750 acres that Los Angeles World Airports bought in the early 1970s for more than $100 million. "This is a potentially excellent use of that land as we wait for an airport," said commission President Alan Rothenberg.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 25, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun
MANZANAR, Calif. - Over the objections of critics, Los Angeles is moving ahead with plans to build a $680-million 200-megawatt solar energy plant within view of this desolate Eastern Sierra site that was a Japanese American internment camp during World War II. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Southern Owens Valley Solar Project would erect 1 million photovoltaic panels on 1,200 acres it owns roughly 6 miles south of Independence and...
BUSINESS
May 29, 2009 | Peter Pae
Just past Barstow on Interstate 15, Las Vegas-bound travelers can eye a tower resembling a lighthouse rising out of the desert encircled by more than 1,800 mirrors the size of billboards. The complex is often mistaken for a science fiction movie set, but it is actually a power plant that once used molten salt, water and the sun's heat to produce electricity.
BUSINESS
October 23, 2010 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Las Vegas-bound travelers nearing the Nevada border rarely take notice of the vast, empty stretch of the Mojave Desert surrounding them. But that may soon change. On Wednesday, ground is to be broken for a massive solar thermal plant spanning about 3,600 acres and involving 346,000 mirrors, each about the size of a billboard. Not only will the plant be highly visible to travelers on I-15, it also will be closely watched ? and probably copied ? by solar developers. Many developers are angling to start their solar projects by the end of the year, when a federal program that could cover up to 30% of the construction costs is due to expire.
NEWS
August 19, 1986 | From Reuters
Fire broke out Monday at an international solar plant near this southern Spanish town, seriously damaging a sophisticated experimental control panel and injuring two people, a plant spokesman said.
NEWS
January 10, 1990 | From Times Staff and Wire Service Reports
An explosion and fire shut down electricity production at the world's largest solar power plant in the Mojave Desert near Barstow this morning. One of four natural-gas-fired heaters used as a backup system at the Harper Lake solar plant exploded as it was being brought up to full power. The cause of the explosion was unknown. No one was reported injured. The $230-million, 80-megawatt plant operated by Luz International Ltd. of Los Angeles was put on line Dec.
NEWS
February 15, 1990
The head of the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners said he wants his panel to consider permitting development of a major solar power plant on vacant airport-owned land in Palmdale. Airport commission President Jerry Epstein said he will propose that airport officials consider allowing the world's largest solar-energy producer to use as many as "a few thousand" acres of the nearly 18,000 acres of airport land in Palmdale. The Westwood-based company, Luz International Ltd.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 25, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun
MANZANAR, Calif. - Over the objections of critics, Los Angeles is moving ahead with plans to build a $680-million 200-megawatt solar energy plant within view of this desolate Eastern Sierra site that was a Japanese American internment camp during World War II. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Southern Owens Valley Solar Project would erect 1 million photovoltaic panels on 1,200 acres it owns roughly 6 miles south of Independence and...
SCIENCE
July 5, 2013 | By Julie Cart
Utility-scale solar plants have been given priority over mining claims on federal lands, according to a decision announced Friday. The federal Bureau of Land Management withdrew more than 300,000 acres of federal land in six Western states from eligibility for new mining claims in an effort to preserve the land for commercial-scale solar energy development. The decision, published in the Federal Register, formalizes an earlier announcement to prohibit new claims for the next 20 years on public land previously identified for solar development in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 2013 | By Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times
BrightSource Energy has suspended its application to build a $2.7-billion solar power plant at Hidden Hills, saying it needed to redesign the Inyo County project and the delay would lead to financial uncertainty. With the project nearing final stages of approval from the California Energy Commission, BrightSource considered adding power storage to the 500-megawatt facility. But doing so would trigger another round of time-consuming and costly engineering and environmental analyses.
SCIENCE
March 13, 2013 | By Julie Cart
The Obama administration continued its push to ramp up renewable energy projects on public land, approving three new projects on Wednesday, including what would become the largest solar power plant in the world. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the approvals in San Francisco alongside Gov. Jerry Brown. The bulk of the coming renewables rush is happening in the state -- since 2009, more than 15 gigawatts of wind, solar, geothermal and transmission projects have been approved on federal land in California.
SCIENCE
December 20, 2012 | By Julie Cart
The Department of Interior on Thursday moved a step closer to approving what could be the world's largest solar power plant,  releasing the final environmental impact statement for the  McCoy Solar facility, a proposed 750-megawatt photovoltaic plant in Riverside County. Secretary Ken Salazar announced the preferred alternative, which calls for scaling back the project's 4,400 - acre footprint to accommodate the federally threatened Mojave Desert tortoise. The McCoy plant is projected to produce 750 megawatts of power, making it the second-largest solar plant in the world.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 25, 2012 | By Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times
When it comes to attracting business to California's eastern deserts, Inyo County is none too choosy. Since the 19th century the sparsely populated county has worked to attract industries shunned by others, including gold, tungsten and salt mining. The message: Your business may be messy, but if you plan to hire our residents, the welcome mat is out. So the county grew giddy last year as it began to consider hosting a huge, clean industry. BrightSource Energy, developer of the proposed $2.7-billion Hidden Hills solar power plant 230 miles northeast of Los Angeles, promised a bounty of jobs and a windfall in tax receipts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 13, 2012 | By Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times
The Obama administration has formally adopted a plan to help create large-scale solar energy plants, offering incentives for solar developers to cluster projects on 285,000 acres of federal land in the western U.S and opening an additional 19 million acres of the Mojave Desert for new power plants. The plan places 445 square miles of public land in play for utility-scale solar facilities. The program, announced Friday by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar at an event in Las Vegas, will apply to new projects only and not the 17 solar facilities already awarded permits or the 78 currently in the approval pipeline.
NEWS
January 28, 1990 | JOHN CHANDLER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Los Angeles airport authorities said Wednesday they are not interested in a proposal by the world's largest producer of solar energy to build a major solar power plant on vacant land that Los Angeles owns in Palmdale. Luz International of Westwood proposed to the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners the construction of a $1-billion plant on some of the 17,500 acres the Los Angeles Department of Airports owns in Palmdale.
NEWS
January 11, 1990 | LARRY B. STAMMER and SCOTT HARRIS, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
A series of explosions and fire shut down electricity generation at the world's largest solar power plant near here Wednesday. Thick plumes of black smoke spiraled into the clear desert air when one of four natural gas-fired heaters used to back up the solar heating system exploded. A short time later, a second natural gas heater caught fire and exploded as the first of 75 firefighters and 25 pieces of equipment were arriving at the site, about 140 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 20, 2012 | By Evan Halper, Ralph Vartabedian and Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times
Driven by the Obama administration's vision of clean power and energy independence, the rush to build large-scale solar plants across the Southwest has created an investors' dream in the desert. Taxpayers have poured tens of billions of dollars into solar projects - some of which will have all their construction and development costs financed by the government by the time they start producing power. Banks, insurers and utility companies have jumped in, taking advantage of complex state and federal tax incentives to reap outsized returns.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 21, 2012 | Julie Cart
At what temperature might a songbird vaporize? Will the glare from five square miles of mirrors create a distraction for highway drivers? Can plumes of superheated air create enough turbulence to flip a small airplane? What happens if one of the Air Force's heat-seeking missiles confuses a solar power plant with a military training target? No one knows for sure. But as the state and federal government push hard to build solar energy plants across the Mojave Desert -- there are more than 100 solar applications pending -- the military, birders, aviation officials and others are eager for answers.
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