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California Renewable Energy(2).jpgIn an effort to insulate a massive solar power project in Riverside County from extended environmental review, Gov. Jerry Brown announced today that he has certified the facility as a special "leadership project," the second such certification he has granted under a 2011 law.

The designation is intended to expedite rulings on environmental litigation brought against McCoy Solar Project, fast-tracking any court challenges brought under the California Environmental Quality Act. The identification of such "leadership" projects is one of several ways in which Brown has sought since taking office to relax the use of CEQA on certain projects.

The Democratic governor last year approved the state's first "leadership" project, a new Apple Inc. campus in Cupertino.

Brown's office said the California Air Resources Board has certified that the $1 billion solar project will not generate additional greenhouse gas emissions during construction, and that it will provide enough electricity to power about 264,000 homes.

PHOTO CREDIT: Greg Bosscawen, manager of renewable energy for Pacific Gas and Electric Co., walks past solar panels at PG&E's Vaca-Dixon solar energy site near Vacaville, Calif., Tuesday, April 12, 2011. Associated Press/Rich Pedroncelli


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