California's Emerging Solar Desert

The desert region of Southern California could become one of the largest concentrations of solar projects in the world if proposals move forward to the action stage.

As a result, the Palm Springs Desert Sun - where I worked as a reporter in the mid-1980s - published an impressive set of stories on the pros and cons of the proposals. Below are links to the stories - and to a map detailing the location and scope of each project, along with employment and tax revenue estimates.

It should be noted that the San Joaquin Valley, a resource-rich region from Stockton to the foot of the Grapevine, also is considered prime territory for solar-generating projects. Like the desert, it has lots of sun and land, but the west side of the Valley, where much of the former farmland lies fallow, doesn't have the same ecological and environmental concerns, and is more accessible to the grid.

Whereas, the arid regions of eastern Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial counties could become a Solar Desert, the San Joaquin Valley has the potential to become known as Solar Valley.

Ivanpah solar project image by