Environment | National

DOI releases roadmap for solar energy projects on public land

The Interior Department on Tuesday released a roadmap for solar energy development on public lands.

The plan identifies 285,000 acres in seven states where future solar projects will be able to proceed without lengthy environmental reviews. Existing or pending applications aren't covered.

“This blueprint for landscape-level planning is about facilitating faster, smarter utility-scale solar development on America’s public lands,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a press release. “This is a key milestone in building a sustainable foundation for utility-scale solar energy development and conservation on public lands over the next two decades.”

The 17 "solar-energy zones" are located on public lands in California, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. Some are located near Indian Country, including the Navajo Nation and several reservations in Nevada.

The public has 30 days from July 27 to comment on the plan.

Get the Story:
Department of the Interior plan pre-approves sites for solar development in 6 states in West (AP 7/24)
Interior Names Solar ‘Hot Spots’ Out West (The New York Times 7/24)
Interior Department sets aside millions of acres for solar power (The Washington Post 7/25)

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