In the zone

Seven of the 24 national sites proposed as “solar energy zones” this month by the Obama administration are in Nevada. The areas are identified as having “the highest solar energy potential and fewest environmental and resource conflicts,” according to a Department of Energy statement. In approving the zones before energy companies apply for them, the idea is the process of developing solar projects can be sped up.

The proposed solar energy zones encompass about 680,000 acres across Nevada, Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. However, the DOE says only 214,000 acres of that will likely be developed for solar energy, producing up to 24,000 megawatts of solar power.

In Nevada, the zones are Amargosa Valley, Delamar Valley, Dry Lake, Dry Lake North Valley, East Mormon Mountain, Gold Point and Miller’s.