Date: Thursday, August 19, 2021
WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior announced today that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking public input on a commercial-scale wind energy facility that is proposed to be constructed on BLM-managed public land in southern Idaho, approximately 25 miles northeast of Twin Falls. The Lava Ridge Wind Energy Project has the potential to generate 1,000 megawatts of wind energy.
“Renewable wind projects are a critical component of the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to confronting climate change, promoting clean air and water for our current and future generations, creating thousands of good-paying union jobs, and jump starting our country’s transition to a clean energy future,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “At the Interior Department, we are doing our part to ensure these projects are done thoughtfully and avoid impacts to surrounding communities. The Department is committed to public input and meaningful Tribal consultation to uphold our trust and treaty responsibilities.”
The Biden-Harris administration has committed to increase renewable energy production on public lands and waters, including a target goal of permitting at least 25 gigawatts of onshore renewable energy by 2025. In the last month, the BLM has made progress on more than 2,600MW of renewable energy, including the opening of the public comment periods on draft Environmental Assessments for four solar projects in California and Arizona, and Decision Records for a project in Utah.
The Department is continuing to make progress in developing a robust and sustainable clean energy economy, including partnering with other federal agencies to increase renewable energy production on public lands and waters. Interior is undertaking these goals with broad stakeholder engagement, including Tribal nations, states, local officials, agricultural landowners, outdoor enthusiasts, and others to identify strategies and goals that reflect the priorities of all communities.
The BLM is proposing that 73,000 acres of public lands be temporarily set aside from consideration of any land sale or new mining claim proposals for two years. This is to facilitate the orderly administration of the public land as the BLM considers the Lava Ridge Wind Project proposal.
The BLM is seeking public comments on issues, planning criteria, concerns, potential impacts, alternatives, and mitigation measures that the agency should consider in analyzing the proposed Lava Ridge Wind Project. The BLM will hold public meetings to provide information on the proposed project and to explain the Environmental Impact Statement development process as follows:
Both meetings will be virtual. Please visit BLM's Lava Ridge Wind Project webpage and click on How To Get Involved for information on registration.