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Edwards Solar Project Advances: The Air Force has signed an "agreement to lease" with Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, an important step to creating the largest crystalline photovoltaic solar project in North America on the grounds of Edwards AFB, Calif. Renewable Ventures, a leading independent solar power producer, now has exclusive access to the proposed development site, a 3,288 acre parcel of land, to conduct the necessary environmental studies and other assessments. The company also has the first option to lease the parcel once the studies are complete, according to Air Force Real Property Agency officials. Envisioned is a solar plant capable of producing up to 500 megawatts of energy, enough to power nearly 89,000 homes. Lease execution will likely occur in late 2012, with construction starting in 2013. Negotiations began late last year. This project is part of the Pentagon's enhanced use lease initiative that allows partnerships with private industry. (AFRPA release)