6HWbNHN-show-poster2x3-c7tgE2Y.png

Artbound

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
Earth Focus

Earth Focus

Start watching
5LQmQJY-show-poster2x3-MRWBpAK.jpg

Reporter Roundup

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

Where to Put that Solar Energy Plant? EPA's Upgraded Map Will Help

Support Provided By
Screen shot 2013-08-05 at 2.40.12 PM-thumb-600x340-57056
Places for utility-scale photovoltaic solar in Southern California, according to EPA | Image: Google Earth screenshot of EPA RE-Powering America's Land database

One of the most promising tools the federal government has ever created for finding good spots for renewable energy development just got an upgrade. The Environmental Protection Agency's RE-Powering America's Land initiative, begun in 2008, announced today that it has nearly triples its inventory of abused land that could be suitable for renewable energy development. The tool offers a way to move the U.S. off fossil fuel energy without the environmental loss that goes along with putting renewable energy facilities on intact habitat.

The tool, publicly available as a series of downloadable layers for the free mapping tool Google Earth, now includes 66,000 heavily damaged sites suitable for solar, wind, biomass, or geothermal development. Sites included in the mapping tool include contaminated "brownfields," landfills, old mines, and other sites where the wildlife habitat value is potentially far less than the intact wildlands and agricultural lands that have made up the bulk of utility-scale renewable development in California.

Just as an example, the updated tool now includes more than 10,000 sites capable of becoming home to large solar panel arrays of 300 megawatts or more in size. That works out to three terawatts of power generating capacity, three times the U.S.'s total electrical generating capacity in 2011.

Though the tool has been significantly upgraded this week, it's been available in its more limited iteration for the last few years, which caused some activists to question why the Interior Department didn't take the EPA's database into account when drafting its plan for solar development on public lands.

"We see responsible renewable energy development on contaminated lands and landfills as a win-win-win for the nation, local communities, and the environment," said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response in a press release Monday. "In President Obama's Climate Action Plan, the administration set a goal to double renewable electricity generation by 2020. By identifying the renewable energy potential of contaminated sites across the country, these screening results are a good step toward meeting national renewable energy goals in order to address climate change, while also cleaning up and revitalizing contaminated lands in our communities."

Support Provided By
Read More
(LEFT) ER nurse Adwoa Blankson-Wood pictured near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, wearing scrubs and a surgical mask; By October, Blankson-Wood was required to don an N-95 mask, protective goggles, a head covering and full PPE to interact with patients.

As A Black Nurse at The Pandemic's Frontlines, I've Had A Close Look at America's Racial Divisions

Most of the time, I was able to frame conversations within the context of the virus and not race, telling patients that we were doing our best, trying to be the heroes they kept calling us. But I was dying inside .... It was easier to find solace in my job, easier to be just a nurse, than to be a Black nurse.
The City of L.A. is staging a COVID-19 mobile vaccination clinic in Chinatown for senior citizens, in an attempt to improve access to the vaccine among vulnerable populations.

Long-Awaited COVID-19 Vaccine Access Expanding in L.A. County Monday

Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 vaccination effort will expand vastly Monday, but health officials said today those workers will have to be patient as vaccine supplies remain limited and staff are trained to ensure only eligible people receive shots.
Photo from above of people waiting in line on a sidewalk.

COVID-19 Pushes Many Indian Employers to Grant Informal Employees New Work Benefits

Bank accounts, housing and fixed wages among new benefits being offered to some of India's vast army of informal workers.