SAN FRANCISCO — Federal officials approved a plan on Friday that sets aside 445 square miles of public land for the development of large-scale solar power plants, cementing a new government approach to renewable energy development in the West after years of delays and false starts.
At a news conference in Las Vegas, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar called the new plan a ‘‘roadmap . . . that will lead to faster, smarter utility-scale solar development on public lands.’’