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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-Calif., has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Ken Salazar in order to expedite the siting of California renewable energy projects.

The MOU commits the federal government to work with California on a science-based process for reviewing, approving and permitting renewable energy applications in California, which will greatly help the state achieve its goal of reaching 33% renewable energy by 2020.

The DOI and the California Natural Resources Agency will develop detailed maps of the best areas for development and conservation, allowing for expedited project siting and habitat protection. The agreement also facilitates the identification of transmission corridors by December 2010 and includes the Department of Defense (DOD) in the process, because some transmission lines may need to cross DOD lands.

"With coordinated environmental studies, good land-use planning and zoning, and priority processing, we can accelerate responsible renewable energy production on U.S. public lands in California," says Salazar.

The MOU also expedites projects that are on track to break ground by the end of 2010 and become eligible for more than $15 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding.

SOURCE: Office of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger



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