Solar Plant over General Patton’s Training Grounds

By Danny Cuellar • on November 12, 2010 • Filed under: Uncategorized

Photo by www.energy.ca.gov

Solar plant over General Patton’s training grounds- Rice Solar Energy (RSE), a subsidiary of SolarReserve LLC of Santa Monica, proposes to construct and operate the Rice Solar Energy Project (RSEP) on a stretch of the Colorado Desert where General George S. Patton used to train soldiers for desert combat during World War II.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) released a proposal today for approval of the project, which would put a solar thermal plant on a 1,410 acre site, located about 40 miles northwest of Blythe.

The RSEP will be a solar generating plant located on privately owned land in unincorporated eastern Riverside County, California.

The project also needs approval from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) because a transmission line for the solar plant will cross public land. (See the problems of building a solar project in public land)

The proposed project will be capable of producing approximately 450,000 megawatts of renewable energy annually.

However, during the great war, from 1942 to 1944, the site was home to Rice Army Air Field and a portion of Camp Rice, which was part of ¬†General Patton’s Desert Training Center. The center was used to prepare American soldiers for combat in the North African desert.

According to the CEC report, the only remains of the training center on the site was a few foundations, concrete pads and defunct runways.

Technology over History?

The CEC will probably decided as early as December 15.

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