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Obama to visit Nevada solar plant

President Obama will visit the 48-megawatt Copper Mountain Solar 1 facility in Boulder City, Nev., this week as part of a multistate trip to promote his energy policies. The president will also make stops in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Ohio on the trip Wednesday and Thursday.

The Boulder City facility, operated by San Diego-based Sempra Energy, is the largest photovoltaic solar plant operating in the country and produces enough electricity to power 17,000 homes, the White House said. The plant sells its electricity to Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Obama has defended his administration’s energy policies in recent weeks as polls show that many voters are worried about rising gasoline prices.

After leaving Nevada, the president will speak at an oil and gas production area in Carlsbad, N.M., a storage facility for oil pipes in Cushing, Okla., and end the trip at Ohio State University on Thursday.

Utility says new power infrastructure on track

Southern California Edison has held a series of community meetings in the past month to discuss its proposed South of Kramer transmission line project.

The proposed new power lines would stretch through rural areas of the High Desert to connect a substation near the Cajon Pass with the utility’s Coolwater Substation, near Daggett. Edison officials say the project is needed to provide increased capacity in its power grid to enable the utility to deliver higher volumes of electricity generated from solar projects in the Mojave Desert to more densely populated areas in the San Bernardino Valley.

The utility has an extensive process ahead to determine the exact route of a potential power line, said Charles Adamson, manager of major transmission projects.

Because the earliest the line could be completed is in 2018, some solar plants in the desert will be operational before then and the utility’s infrastructure may not be able to handle all of the new power they generate, officials said.

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