Federal Government Looks to Increase Solar on Public Lands - Diversified Communications

Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  December 7, 2022

Federal Government to Increase Solar on Public Lands

The US Secretary of the Interior announced plans to increase solar energy development on public lands to meet the Biden-Harris administration’s renewable energy and conservation goals.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to update the Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS), first issued in 2012, to include an updated guide for developing solar energy on public lands across more states. To begin with, the BLM is reviewing three proposed solar projects in Arizona that would add 1 GW of solar energy to the grid.

Deb Haaland, Secretary of the Interior, made the announcement for these plans alongside Laura Daniel-Davis, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, during a visit to the Sonoran Solar Energy Project.

“This Administration is committed to expanding clean energy development to address climate change, enhance America’s energy security and provide for good-paying union jobs,” Secretary Haaland said in a statement. “Our review of these proposed projects in Arizona, and a new analysis of the role public lands can play in furthering solar energy production, will help ensure we keep the momentum going to build a clean energy future, lower costs for families and create robust conservation outcomes on the nation’s lands and waters.”

The initial Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Solar Energy Development was issued in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah in 2021. The Solar PEIS intended to guide solar development projects by identifying locations with high solar potential and low resource conflicts.

Interested stakeholders will be able to provide written feedback on the update to the BLM’s 2012 Solar Programmatic EIS during a 60-day public comment period that will begin once the notice to update the PEIS is published in the Federal Register later this week.

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