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Interior Department Makes Solar Land Grab

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Federal officials have taken more than 300 acres of public lands out of contention for mining to promote the development of renewable energy.

The Interior Department withdrew the public lands in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. The land claims are another step toward establishing 17 new "solar energy zones" on government land in the West.

The new zones are located near existing power transmission lines, and were chosen because they had fewer environmental and cultural issues, that could potentially delay green energy efforts for years.

They are aiming to power 2.5 million homes.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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