(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced that seven nationally and regionally "significant" solar and wind energy projects will be expedited, including projects in Arizona, California, Nevada and Wyoming.
Together, the infrastructure projects would produce nearly 5,000 megawatts of clean energy -- enough to power approximately 1.5 million homes and support the President's strategy to expand American-made energy, said the announcement from the White House Press Office.
As part of a presidential executive order issued last 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, saving time while driving better outcomes for the environment and local communities, the announcement said. Additional expedited infrastructure projects will be announced in the coming weeks, it said.
"As part of President Obama's all-of-the-above strategy to expand domestic energy production and strengthen the economy, we are working to advance smart development of renewable energy on our public lands," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. "These seven proposed solar and wind projects have great potential to grow our nation's energy independence, drive job creation and power economies across the West".
The projects build on the administration's record of success in permitting an unprecedented number of utility-scale renewable energy projects, the White House said.
"Thanks to a coordinated and focused review process, in the past three years, the Department of the Interior has approved more utility-scale renewable energy projects on public lands than in the past two decades combined -- a total of 31 new projects," the announcement said.
When constructed by the companies, the projects are expected to generate enough renewable energy to power 2.3 million American homes, it said.