LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal officials have announced the approval of two solar energy projects on public lands in California and Nevada.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Wednesday the plants are expected to supply 550 megawatts of renewable energy, enough to power about 170,000 homes. More than 700 jobs will be created.

The Stateline Solar Farm facility is slated for a site in San Bernardino County, near the Nevada border.

The Silver State South Solar Project will be located near Primm, Nev. It will be adjacent to the Silver State North Project, which is already providing power.

Environmentalists are concerned the plants will impact desert tortoise populations.

The group Defenders of Wildlife has filed a notice of intent to sue under the Endangered Species Act to block the projects.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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