The Sierra Club's Sandy Bahr says they support a mixture of renewable energy, including solar, "But we're not in favor of paving the desert with mirrors." The Arizona Republic today reported on the land rush for solar energy projects that I blogged about earlier this week.
They report that developers (and speculators?) have filed claims for 37 solar energy projects covering 720,000 acres on public lands. [right, graphic of solar power plant. Credit, APS]
On Saturday, a land developer is holding what could be the first 'solar land auction' in Phoenix, offering 5 parcels totaling 2,000 acres.
The "land rush" is being attributed to state requirements for renewable energy, state and federal subsidies, and targeted economic stimulus funds.
BLM is working on a multi-state programmatic EIS for the solar applications, but it won't be complete for a year.