On Friday, July 13, 2012, the California Energy Commission (CEC) conducted a workshop to gather information, perspectives, and high-level principles on how the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) can be most effective as a long-term energy infrastructure plan. The DRECP is an effort by the Renewable Energy Action Team to provide protection and conservation of the desert region, while enabling and promoting renewable energy project development in an effort to meet California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard goals. The desert region is comprised of 22.5 million acres of federal and nonfederal land covering Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties. Participants in the roundtable discussion represented members of state and federal government, utilities, researchers, developers, and the environmental community. The issues that need to be resolved include: creating a streamlined permitting and citing process, increasing certainty to help long term procurement planning and integration, and decreasing risks around projects, all while trying to preserve the desert region’s ecosystem.
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