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Siting a Solar Power Project URS Corporation San Diego, California, USA By Camille Lill Contact Camille Lill camille_lill@urscorp.com Software ArcGIS Desktop 9.2 To site a solar power project for potential clients, it is impor- tant to determine areas that will yield high energy genera- tion and return the most profits. Several steps were taken to achieve this. Environmental and land use constraint layers were used to eliminate unsuitable areas and focus on more desirable ones. Developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a solar intensity layer (related to the amount of energy that can be generated) is used to Printer HP Designjet 1055 Data Sources NREL, ESRI, Powermap, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, California Natural Diversity Database, Navajo Natural Heritage Program, National Data Warehouse Environmental Constraints Land Use/Ownership 88 Sustainable Development and Human Affairs Solar Intensity Solar Applications and Solar Intensity determine if the project can be profitable. A spatial query of datasets can quickly show how a client’s preferences or criteria will affect the amount of available land for the project. Using the results from the analyses, further project actions include creating detailed large-scale maps of focus areas and providing this information to a real estate spe- cialist who can start finding available land for the plant. Courtesy of Camille Lill.