The California Energy Commission likely will add two more large solar projects to its growing list of certifications before the end of the year Approval of the proposed 500 MW Palen and 150 MW Rice solar projects are recommended by the commission\u2019s siting committee. The Palen project consists of two adjacent and independent units of 250 MW each that would sit on about 5,200 acres. The applicant is German-based renewable energy company Solar Millennium. The 150 MW Rice project, proposed by a subsidiary of Santa Monica-based SolarReserve, would be located on a 2,560-acre parcel of land in eastern Riverside County about 40 miles northwest of Blythe. While the Rice project is slated for private land, the Palen facility would be on public land. The Bureau of Land Management is expected to rule in the coming weeks on whether to issue a right-of-way grant for the project. The Nov. 12 proposed decision on the Palen project found it \u201cwould contribute to cumulative impacts to cultural and visual resources, and land use and those contributions are immitigable.\u201d But it ultimately concludes that Palen \u201cis required for public convenience and necessity and there are no more prudent and feasible means of achieving such public convenience and necessity.\u201d Both solar projects were found to be in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act. Commissioners Karen Douglas and Bob Weisenmiller, who coauthored both proposed decisions, said if built, Rice Solar would minimize the use of public lands by sitting on previously disturbed private property and would help produce \u201ca reliable electricity supply free of carbon emissions to help diversify California\u2019s electrical power generation portfolio.\u201d Full commission approval could come as soon as Dec. 15. If both are approved, they would be the eighth and ninth solar projects given the go-ahead by the commission since last summer. If all nine projects are constructed as designed, it would mean an additional 4,100 MW of solar power in the Mojave Desert region.