Massive Solar Projects on the Way - NBC Bay Area

Massive Solar Projects on the Way



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    CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 01: Solar photovoltaic panels generate electricity at an Exelon solar power facility on September 1, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The 10-megawatt facility located on the city's south side is the largest urban solar installation in the United States. The 32,292 panels can generate more than 14,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year, enough to meet the annual energy requirements of up to 1,500 homes. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

    Several massive new solar projects are rolling out around the state -- just in time for rainy season.

    The panels aren't ready to go up just yet. Two of the largest projects are still in the planning stages. But when they're done, they'll be gigantic.

    One such installation will take place in Concord, spread across more than 50 schools and administration buildings. At a cost of $65.6 million, it'll be the second-largest school solar system. The largest is in Los Angeles.

    After the Concord installation is complete, more solar sites will appear in Bay Point, followed by Walnut Creek and Clayton. Construction is expected to take place during the summer of 2011, followed by a second phase in the winter.

    Estimated savings, once the switch is flipped: nearly $200 million over 30 years.

    Another giant project will be erected in the Mojave Desert. The price tag on this one is a bit higher: $6 billion. When it's done, it'll be the largest solar plant in the world, doubling the country's solar output and powering 300,000 homes.

    There's some concern that the panels will be dangerous to local wildlife, though. Native species include owls, sheep, and lizards.