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Can Big Solar and Wildlife Co-Exist? Maybe, Says Arizona Conservation Group

Generally speaking, solar energy installations come in two flavors: small- and medium-scale systems that are installed atop roofs and in empty lots (broadly referred to a "distributed generation"); and large, utility-scale solar power plants that sit on acres and acres of land.

A common critique of distributed generation is that, thanks to trees and other obstructions, not every roof is good for solar panels; a common critique of utility solar is that the plants take up lots of land and can disrupt surrounding habitats.

Case in point vis-à-vis the latter: a new assessment released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management

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Really, Really Big Solar Power Project Counts Google Among Its Backers

The Ivanpah solar power plant is a work in progress along a stretch of California desert just west of the Nevada border.

Earlier this week, Google announced it will invest $168 million in the 370-megawatt (MW) project, which relies on solar thermal technology that's sometimes informally called the "power tower" (pictured left). This announcement comes after the Internet search company last week made known its $5 million investment in a Germany-based solar energy facility.

Unlike photovoltaic (PV) systems, which convert the sun's rays directly into electricity,

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Conservationists Sue Federal Government Over California Solar Energy Plant

It's been a long, hard road for the Ivanpah Solar Project, a 392-megawatt (MW) solar thermal plant to be built in California's Mojave Desert. In an effort to gain regulatory approval, project developers have scaled back the project's scope, faced environmental setbacks and had the project opened for public comment.

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California Energy Commission OK's Mojave Desert Solar Project

Through a unanimous 5-0 vote on Wednesday, the California Energy Commission (CEC) approved the construction of a 370-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic (PV) solar energy plant in the Mojave Desert. If built, the project could power the equivalent of 140,000 California homes each year.

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Small California Town Goes Big on Solar

Posted by Adam Sewall In Thursday, June 10 2010 under: Nipton, Skyline Solar, Solar PV Panels, Mojave Desert solar, California Solar

A small California town is dead-set on getting the bulk of its electricity from solar energy.

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Clashes Over BrightSource's Mojave Desert Solar Project Result in Project Termination

Posted by Connie Zheng In Friday, September 18 2009 under: Sustainability, Solar Thermal, Mojave Desert solar, Environment, California Solar

It’s been a turbulent week for solar in California. First, Governor Schwarzenegger rejects legislation that lawmakers have toiled over for the past nine months in favor of his own executive order. Now Oakland, CA-based BrightSource Energy Inc. has shelved its proposal for a controversial 500-megawatt solar thermal plant in a swath of Mojave Desert land known as Broadwell Dry Lake, a picturesque area that also happens to be the habitat of many species of rare wildlife.

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