Interior Department making significant progress toward the President’s goal to permit 25 GW of renewables on public lands by 2025
Date: Monday, November 6, 2023
JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. — During remarks at the Western Governors Association Winter Meeting today, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced that the Interior Department is advancing 15 onshore renewable energy projects across the West. The Bureau of Land Management is making progress across several states, including achieving full operational status for two solar and battery storage projects in California, permitting milestones for transmission lines proposed across Arizona, Nevada and Utah, next steps for geothermal energy development in Nevada, and progress on environmental reviews for seven solar projects proposed in Nevada and a solar and battery storage project in Arizona.
Together, these projects represent continued momentum from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda – a key pillar of Bidenomics – which is working to accelerate transmission buildout to lower consumers’ energy costs, prevent power outages in the face of extreme weather, create good-paying union jobs, tackle the climate crisis, advance the goals of clean air and environmental justice for all, and achieve the President’s goal of a 100% clean electricity grid by 2035.
“The Biden-Harris administration is committed to expanding clean energy development to address climate change, enhance America’s energy security and create good-paying union jobs. The projects we are advancing today will add enough clean energy to the grid to power millions of homes,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Through historic investments from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the Interior Department is helping build modern, resilient climate infrastructure that protects our communities from the worsening impacts of climate change.”
“The BLM’s work to responsibly and quickly develop renewable energy projects is crucial to achieving the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035," said BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning. “Investing in clean and reliable renewable energy represents the BLM's commitment to addressing climate change and supports direction from the President and Congress to permit 25 gigawatts of solar, wind and geothermal production on public lands no later than 2025.”
The Biden-Harris administration is expanding renewable energy technologies like wind, solar, and geothermal across public lands while upholding essential regulatory and review processes to avoid adverse human, environmental, and wildlife impacts. Since 2021, the BLM has approved 46 clean energy projects (16 solar, 10 geothermal, and 20 gen-tie transmission lines) on approximately 35,000 acres of BLM-managed lands. These projects are expected to produce up to 11,236 megawatts of electricity — enough to power over 3.5 million homes.
The BLM is currently processing 66 utility-scale onshore clean energy projects proposed on public lands in the western United States. This includes solar, wind, and geothermal projects, as well as gen-tie lines that are vital to clean energy projects proposed on non-federal land. These projects have the combined potential to add more than 33 gigawatts of renewable energy to the western electric grid. The BLM is also undertaking the preliminary review of over 192 applications for solar and wind development, as well as 95 applications for solar and wind energy site area testing.
Today’s announcement follows recent Biden-Harris administration progress on accelerating transmission buildout, with a series of groundbreakings this year for new transmission lines that will connect communities across the West with clean, reliable and affordable energy, including SunZia Transmission Project, Ten West Link and TransWest Express Transmission Project.
Onshore Renewable and Transmission Projects:
New Lease Sale:
Opportunities for Public Comment: