Bureau of Land Management to host last virtual public meeting on Western Solar Plan – Boise State Public Radio

1 minute, 6 seconds Read

The Bureau of Land Management is considering a new strategy to streamline permitting for large-scale solar energy development in the West, including in Idaho.

The federal agency is building on a decade-old plan that focused on prime areas for solar projects in the southwest, in part to minimize environmental harm.

Now, it’s revisiting that and considering adding more land in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming where solar could be expanded. That includes about 1.5 million acres in southern Idaho.

Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management identified green-shaded areas on the map as places that could be ripe for solar development.

Separately, last year, the BLM in Idaho added a step in the permitting process that renewable energy developers must complete, which it believes will minimize conflicts in siting projects.

The BLM has a goal of permitting 25 gigawatts of clean energy on public lands by 2025.

Under the agency’s preferred Western Solar Plan, it would guide development to spots close to transmission lines and away from culturally and environmentally sensitive areas. Solar proposals would still need to go through regular environmental reviews.

The BLM is hosting one more virtual public meeting on the plan on Weds., March 6, and public comments are accepted through April 18.

March 6 virtual meeting

Find reporter Rachel Cohen on X @racheld_cohen

Copyright 2024 Boise State Public Radio

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned in the title of this site

Similar Posts