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Antelope Valley in southern California is the western part of the Mojave Desert. The San Gabriel Mountains and the Tehachapi Mountains give the valley a triangular shape. The southern edge of the valley is the San Andreas Fault.

While farming is going on in the valley in the more traditional sense, with irrigated fields showing up as bright green circles or rectangles in these Landsat images, farming of a different kind is also going on. With average annual wind speeds of 14 to 20 miles per hour and plenty of clear, sunny days, this part of the desert is on the cutting edge of wind and solar power.

(The small burn scar seen in the 2023 image is the Danny Fire, which burned almost 1,600 acres.)

The Hyundai-Kia Motors California Proving Ground

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June 9, 1988, Landsat 5 (path/row 41/36) — Antelope Valley, California, USA
June 22, 2010, Landsat 5 (path/row 41/36) — Antelope Valley, California, USA
June 17, 2014, Landsat 8 (path/row 41/36) — Antelope Valley, California, USA
June 28, 2018, Landsat 8 (path/row 41/36) — Antelope Valley, California, USA
June 26, 2023, Landsat 8 (path/row 41/36) — Antelope Valley, California, USA
June 26, 2023, Landsat 8 (path/row 41/36) — Antelope Valley, California, USA

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References

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California Energy Commission, 2018, California Clean Energy Tour Solar Star Projects: California Energy Commission, accessed March 19, 2021, at https://ww2.energy.ca.gov/title24/tour/solarstar/index.html.

Daniels, J., 2018, California clears final hurdle for state's landmark solar panel mandate for new homes: CNBC, accessed February 11, 2019, at https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/06/california-clears-final-hurdle-for-state-solar-mandate-for-new-homes.html.

Flemming, J., 2018, Starting in 2020, all new homes in California must come with solar panels. Builders are getting ready: Los Angeles Times, accessed February 11, 2019, at https://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/hot-property/la-fi-solar-mandate-20181214-story.html.

Hanley, S., 2017, Lancaster (California) Is “Solar Power Capital Of The Universe”: Clean Technica, accessed December 18, 2018, at https://cleantechnica.com/2017/10/16/lancaster-california-solar-power-capitol-universe/.

Hoen, B.D., Diffendorfer, J.E., Rand, J.T., Kramer, L.A., Garrity, C.P., and Hunt, H.E., 2018, United States Wind Turbine Database (ver. 6.0, May 2023): U.S. Geological Survey, American Clean Power (ACP) Association, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/F7TX3DN0.

Hyundai, 2005, Hyundai and Kia Celebrate Grand Opening of a New $60 Million California-Based Proving Ground: Hyundai Media Center, accessed February 11, 2019, at https://www.hyundainews.com/en-us/releases/380.

Ingraham, C., 2018, Every one of America’s 57,636 wind turbines, mapped: The Washington Post, accessed December 18, 2018, at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/05/11/every-one-of-americas-57636-wind-turbines-mapped/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.5369aec6e3df.

Stringfellow, K., 2017, The Shifting Demographics of Antelope Valley—And Development's Consequences: KCET, accessed December 18, 2018, at https://www.kcet.org/shows/artbound/the-shifting-demographics-of-antelope-valley-and-developments-consequences.

U.S. Census Bureau, [n.d.], Census of Population and Housing: U.S. Census Bureau, accessed December 18, 2018, at https://www.census.gov/prod/www/decennial.html.

U.S. Census Bureau, 2023, QuickFacts—Lancaster city, California: U.S. Census Bureau, accessed June 29, 2023, at https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/lancastercitycalifornia,US/PST045222.

U.S. Census Bureau, 2023, QuickFacts—Palmdale city, California: U.S. Census Bureau, accessed June 29, 2023, at https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/palmdalecitycalifornia,lancastercitycalifornia,US/PST045222.

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