Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mojave Solar Project Gets Initial Green Light With Assistance From Rosamond and California City

The Antelope Valley Press recently reported a potential approval of a $950 million Solar Plant in Mojave Ca. The plant is proposed on 2000 acres off of Hwy 14. The California Energy Commission has given a 30 day period for public opinion on the proposed project. The issue that may halt the project is its need for fourteen hundred acres of water per year, as water is scarce in the desert. The proposal from the developer is to use treated water and or sewage water from the two local communities of Rosamond and California City. E-Solar has proposed a similar solution for their facility in Lancaster, Ca. E-Solar proposes to use runoff and treated water and further naturally treat it on 100 acres in Fox Field. The Mojave Solar project requires water because it relies on a solar thermal design by using mirrors to capture and reflect the suns raze to a network of tubes. Liquid in the tubes is heated thus in turn powers a steam turbine that produces electricity. The AVPress indicates that officials in the city of Rosamond and California City have agreed to supply the treated water.

This project will be at least the fifth new solar power project in the Antelope Valley in the last two years, clearly making the valley a developing green zone. The project appears to have the approval of the Energy Committee, and local city officials. It is miles from any real development, so there will likely not be much residential disapproval. Once the project gets the green light then it would take two years to construct and would employ just over fifty full time employees. It will likely be the only development for tens of miles.

This type of land currently sells for below two thousand an acre showing that the developer has been cost conscious. All of this land is simply desert land and zoned rural residential and agricultural use, but there is nothing that grows in this type of environment. Without solar this area would have very slow growth. We are encouraged by the development, but we wouldn’t recommend buying this land so far north of California City. It would be better to be closer to a growing area like Rosamond or Lancaster Ca.

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