In order to power a country the size of the United States indefinitely, everything is being done to invest in green and alternative energies and this includes, utilizing land that has previously been deemed to be useless.

The New York Times recently revealed that thousands of acres of farmland in the San Joaquin Valley, that are no longer used for agricultural purposes due to salt contamination from years of irrigations, are to be utilized for potential solar power complexes.

The plan to use 30,000 acres of previously unusable land is one of many plans being developed by American utility companies to make the country’s power supplies as diverse and renewable as possible. As such, the construction of the proposed Westlands Solar Park offers greener alternatives to potentially several nuclear power stations and will be able to generate as much energy as the controversial units.

Speaking about the task of using the area for solar power and then integrating that power into the existing system, Carl Zichella, former renewable programs director for the Sierra Club, said, “It’s about as perfect a place as you’re going to find in the state of California for a solar project like this.”

“There’s virtually zero wildlife impact here because the land has been farmed continuously for such a long time and you have proximity to transmission, infrastructure and markets.”

The subject of integrating renewables into a ‘smarter’ power grid will be on of the topics discussed at the Next Generation Utility Summit from the 9-11 November 2010. The summit will serve as a forum for executives to discuss the impact new emerging technologies have had on the customer experience in energy consumption.

As well as that, future investments in the electricity utility industry will also be discussed, such as the news that the United States Department of Energy funding from 2009, the North American intelligent grid and communications technology spending through 2013 will reach $18 Billion.

Attending the summit will be industry leaders, including Edward White, Jr., VP Energy Policy - National Grid, Dale Landgren, Chief Strategy Officer - American Transmission Company, Richard Burchfield , CIO/VP IT - Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE), Marc Ulrich, VP Renewable & Alternative Power - South California Edison and Cyrus Wadia, Senior Policy Analyst of Renewable Energy at The White House.