June 06, 2010 12:13 PM

NEWBERRY SPRINGS • The developer of a proposed 850 megawatt solar project east of Newberry Springs is scaling back the size of the project by about 2,000 acres to protect desert tortoise habitat and plant life.

Tessera Solar reduced its Calico solar project to 6,215 acres from 8,230 to comply with a request from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Despite the reduction in size, the amount of electricity the project is expected to generate will not change, company representatives say.

The project overlapped part of the Fish and Wildlife’s Desert Tortoise Recovery Area in the Cady Mountains north of the project, said Michele Demetras, spokesperson for the California Energy Commission. The reduction in acreage will create a 4,000-foot wildlife corridor between the project and the mountain range’s base.

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