The Desert Sun

Heralding it as the latest success in President Barack Obama’s “all of the above” energy policy, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Thursday announced the release of the final environmental impact report for NextEra Energy’s McCoy solar project near Blythe.

The 750-megawatt photovoltaic plant could employ 600 workers at the peak of construction and provide electricity for 225,000 homes, he said.

“This will be one of the largest solar energy projects on public land,” Salazar said. “The preferred alternative that we are putting on the table today includes mitigation to avoid desert tortoise habitat. This approach has been a thoughtful approach; it reflects the BLM’s efforts to work with communities to develop renewable energy in the right way in the right places.”

Salazar’s announcement also marks the beginning of a 30-day review period for the McCoy report, ending Jan. 22. Final approval could come in the first quarter of the new year, Bureau of Land Management officials said.

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