The U.S. Interior Dept. has approved construction of a 287-MW solar-photovoltaic project on 1,767 acres of federal land in the Mojave Desert, near Baker, Calif. The project—proposed by Soda Mountain Solar LLC, a Bechtel subsidiary—will be located in an area of disturbed lands that includes Interstate Highway 15 and an active utility corridor. Approval of the project’s record of decision came after more than three years of consultation among U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials and stakeholders. The National Parks Conservation Association and other environmental groups say the project will industrialize habitat for bighorn sheep and other wildlife. County and state approvals are still needed, and the cost is uncertain, Bechtel officials say.