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New federal rules for Calif. desert put too many prime wind energy sites off-limits

A new plan released by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) puts approximately three million acres that had been available for solar and wind development off-limits. This will make it difficult, if not impossible, to achieve the plan’s stated planning goal of 20,000 MW of renewable energy and presents a challenge to the greenhouse-gas-reduction goals laid out by President Obama and Governor Jerry Brown.

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Fast Facts about California Wind Energy

+ Wind energy projects totaling approximately 5,812 megawatts (MW) of capacity are operating in California today,1 providing enough electricity to power more than 2 million California households.2 This represents more than a tripling of wind energy capacity since California's Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) law was adopted in 2002.

+ In 2013, California wind projects generated 12,694 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity – 6.35% of all power generated within California.3 In the same year, out-of-state wind projects generated 12,662 GWh of electricity for California, representing 13% of total power imports.3 Combined, wind projects supplied 8.55% of California’s total system power,3 enough to power all homes in Sacramento, Santa Clara, and San Diego Counties combined.2

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