Jul 25, 2012 - The US Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of the Interior (DOI) yesterday released the final roadmap for development of utility-scale solar projects on public lands in six states in southwestern USA.
The solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) establishes solar energy zones as most suitable for solar energy development on a total of 285,000 acres (115,335 ha) of public lands in the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. The solar PEIS, prepared by the DOI's Bureau of Land Management (BLM), will improve the permitting process for utility-scale solar energy on public lands, the DOE said in a statement yesterday.
The roadmap also features some 19 million acres in areas out of the identified solar energy zones. The final PEIS estimates that a total of 23,700 MW of solar power capacity can be installed in the 17 zones and additional areas, enough to power seven million households, according to the statement.
After a 30-day protest period starting on July 27, the Sectretary of the Interior Salazar may adopt the PEIS via a record of decision.
The DOI had okayed 17 utility-scale solar projects with total capacity of some 5,900 MW on public lands since 2009, the DOE added.
Choose your newsletter by Renewables Now. Join for free!