For the first time, federal land managers are allowing the construction of two solar installations on public land to power hundreds of thousands of homes with renewable energy.
U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the projects Tuesday.
One includes a square mile of solar panels near Victorville in inland Southern California, and the other covers about 10 square miles in the remote Imperial Valley, east of San Diego.
The announcement comes about five years after solar developers began asking the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for rights to develop hundreds of solar plants on federally owned desert land across the Southwest.