Updated roadmap for solar development will help meet President Biden’s goals for net-zero electric grid by 2035
YUMA, Ariz. — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is holding an open-house meeting in Yuma on Feb. 15 from 5–7 p.m. at the Yuma Public Library to provide information on the Department of the Interior’s ongoing efforts to support appropriate renewable energy development on our nation’s public lands through an updated Western Solar Plan. The public meeting will preview the BLM’s proposed revisions to the agency’s Utility-Scale Solar Energy Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (known as the updated Western Solar Plan), which would streamline the BLM’s framework for siting solar energy projects and expand BLM’s solar energy program to cover five additional states across the West.
“The BLM is committed to ensuring public lands do their part to meet our nation’s clean energy goals,”said BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning. “We can and must do so responsibly, and we look forward to hearing from the public on how to achieve that balance.”
By directing development to areas that have fewer sensitive resources, less conflict with other uses of public lands, and close proximity to transmission lines, the BLM can permit clean energy more efficiently while maintaining robust public and Tribal engagement, which are central features of all BLM reviews of individual projects.
The Yuma Public Library is located at 2951 S. 21st Drive, Yuma, AZ 85364, rooms A, B, and C.
Individuals who need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should contact the BLM in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The updated Western Solar Plan evaluates six alternatives, each proposing to make different amounts of public land available to solar development applications under different criteria such as proximity to transmission infrastructure, designated critical habitat, or other important ecological and cultural resources. Public input will inform a Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision.
More information about the updated Western Solar Plan and BLM’s ongoing work to facilitate sustainable solar energy development on public lands across the West is available on BLM’s Solar Program website.
The Draft Solar Programmatic EIS was published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2024, opening a public comment period that extends until April 18, 2024. In addition to this public meeting, BLM will hold two virtual and five other in-person public meetings during the comment period. Public meetings will commence with the first virtual meeting on February 5, 2024, and end with the last virtual meeting on March 6, 2024.
To view the Draft Programmatic EIS and learn how to provide comments, visit the BLM’s ePlanning web site at https://eplanning.blm.gov/