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Riverside County approves solar project for desert

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Riverside County supervisors have approved a solar project that would cover 7.5 square miles of desert and provide enough electricity for 225,000 homes.

The Press-Enterprise says (http://bit.ly/1kP34v4 ) the McCoy Solar Energy Project near Blythe is the largest approved so far in the county, both in total area and in the 750 megawatts of power it would generate. Most of it would be on public land just east of the McCoy Mountains.

The project is being developed by Florida-based NextEra. Construction could start next year.

Throughout the review process, environmentalists voiced concerns that construction would negatively impact populations of desert tortoises and migratory birds.

The McCoy project brings to six the number of active, commercial-scale solar projects approved in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Three already are operating.

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Information from: The Press-Enterprise, http://www.pe.com

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