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  • Wednesday, October 17, 2012


    Obama Administration Releases Utility-Scale Solar Development Roadmap

    15 October 2012 (Solar Industry)

    “…[The Department of Interior (DOI)] finalized Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for solar energy development… intended to spur development of solar energy on public lands… provides a blueprint for utility-scale solar energy permitting in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah by establishing solar energy zones with access to existing or planned transmission, incentives for development within those zones and a process through which to consider additional zones and solar projects.

    “…[DOI] established an initial set of 17 Solar Energy Zones (SEZs), totaling about 285,000 acres of public lands, that will serve as priority areas for solar development, with the potential for additional zones through ongoing and future regional planning processes. If fully built out, projects in the designated areas could produce as much as 23,700 MW of solar energy…”

    “The program also keeps the door open, on a case-by-case basis, for the possibility of carefully sited solar projects outside SEZs on about 19 million acres in ‘variance’ areas…[and] includes a framework for regional mitigation plans…[T]o protect key natural and cultural resources, the program excludes a little under 79 million acres that would be inappropriate for solar development based on currently available information.

    “The Solar Energy Industries Association and Large-Scale Solar Association (LSA) praised the DOI for completing the PEIS and encouraged the DOI and other relevant agencies to continue to advance solar projects in the permitting process…”


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