Solar project faces fox disease, native sites

Monday, February 13, 2012

A solar energy project proposed for the California desert has hit siting setbacks, including diseases foxes and a possible Native American cremation site.

The Genesis Solar Energy Project is one of 12 solar power plants proposed to be built in Southern California.  The Genesis project would be built on federal Bureau of Land Management land 25 miles west of Blythe, CA, in the desert of Riverside County.  Proposed by a wholly owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources LLC, the project would rely on concentrating solar power by using mirrors to concentrate the sun's rays to produce steam.  This steam would be used to spin steam turbine generators, much as in a traditional thermal power plant.  For a total estimated cost of $1 billion, the Genesis project would consist of two independent solar electric generating facilities with a total net electrical output of 250 MW.  $825 million of the project's financing is backed by a Department of Energy loan guarantee.

Now, the LA Times reports the project faces challenges including a deadly outbreak of distemper among wild kit foxes and the discovery of a potential burial or cremation site used by Native Americans.

Will the Genesis Solar Energy Project move forward?

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