Ca. Cleared for Massive Solar Plant

California officials Monday approved the construction of a solar power plant that would be the largest solar installation in the world and double the amount of solar-powered electricity the U.S. can produce. The Blythe Solar Power Plant, backed by the German company Solar Millennium, is set to be built on 7,000 acres of public land in Riverside County, in Southern California. It is the sixth solar installation in recent months to be approved for federal land, and the first to be approved for federal public land. The multibillion-dollar project is proposing to power more than 300,000 homes—a major plus for energy-starved California. Construction is also expected to create more than 1,000 direct jobs and the plant will support more than 300 permanent jobs. Power will be provided using parabolic trough technology—a process that uses curved mirrors to gather the sun’s rays that then heats liquid that creates steam to run generators.