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Obama expedites seven massive renewable energy projects

President Barack Obama has called for seven renewable energy projects – including two massive wind farms – to be expedited.

The projects are located in Arizona, California, Nevada and Wyoming, and have the potential to produce nearly 5 GW of renewable energy and power approximately 1.5 million homes, according to a statement from the White House.

As a part of a presidential executive order issued in March, the Office of Management and Budget is charged with overseeing a government-wide effort to make the permitting and review process for infrastructure projects more efficient and effective.

Obama is calling for the following wind projects to be expedited:

The Mohave Wind Energy project. This wind farm – which, if approved, would produce up to 425 MW – is being developed by BP Wind, in close collaboration with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Bureau of Reclamation (BOR). The proposed project would be located on approximately 38,099 acres of public land managed by the BLM and 8,960 acres of land managed by the BOR in Mohave County, Ariz. The target date for completion of the federal permit and review decisions is January 2013.

The Chokecherry/Sierra Madre Wind Energy project. The proposed Chokecherry and Sierra Madre project, located on approximately 230,000 acres in Carbon County, Wyo., could produce up to 3 GW of wind energy – enough to power over 1 million homes, according to the White House. The project, as currently configured, avoids critical sage-grouse habitat identified as “sage-grouse core areas.” In July, the DOI approved the project’s final environmental impact statement. The wind project involves a multi-tiered decision process that includes a land-use plan decision anticipated to occur this October, followed by the review of a series of right-of-way applications through 2014. The target date for completion of the federal permit and review decisions is October 2014.

Additional expedited infrastructure projects will be announced in the coming weeks.