Abengoa Solar, which has plants in Spain, northern Africa and other parts of the U.S., could begin construction as early as next year on the 280-megawatt plant in Gila Bend -- a small, dusty town 50 miles southeast of Phoenix. [...]So if Arizona can become "the Persian Gulf of solar energy" as Gov. Janet Napolitano predicts, why can't Virginia do the same with its wind power potential? Because our elected officials have repeatedly rejected mandatory clean energy standards, so Virginia is losing out on our share of the clean energy boom - billions in investment and tens of thousands of jobs nationwide.
Arizona regulators are requiring utilities to get 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025, with annual increases of roughly 1 percent.
Instead, our governor and General Assembly are clinging to coal, trying to spend $1.8 billion on a coal-fired power plant in Wise County to bring 800 construction jobs and about 50 permanent full-time jobs. Meanwhile, the Arizona solar plant will not only cost about half as much, it'll create twice as many construction jobs and 85 full-time jobs.
Please tell Gov. Kaine right now that it's not too late to do the right thing.
Cross-posted from Raising Kaine
UPDATE: Where does this comparison stand in 2011?