The 250-megawatt Beacon Solar Energy Project has been approved by the California Energy Commission. When built, it will be the first large-scale solar thermal plant in the US in over 20 years and will generate enough power for 100,000 homes. This is first of many such solar thermal projects planned for the Mojave area. Twelve more may be approved by the end of the year with a total of 34 being planned. If they all are built, then 300,000 acres of the Mojave Desert will be used to generate 2.4 gigawatts of electricity, which could power nearly one million homes.