Clean Energy Gets BLM Priority Assignments

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released a list of 19 renewable energy projects the agency is giving priority for development on public lands in 2011. The list, developed in collaboration with the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service, includes nine solar projects, five wind projects, and five geothermal projects.

Details of the screening criteria were released in February, and all of the priority projects must demonstrate that the environmental review and public participation process can be formally started and approved by the end of the year.

Douglas County Schools solar

image via REgeneration Finance

Total energy capacity from the different renewable energy projects is an estimated at over 4,000 megawatts, broken down so that 2,673 megawatts will come from solar, with wind accounting for 1,024 MW, and geothermal rounding out the last 489 MW. Most of the projects are happening in California, with Arizona, Oregon, Nevada and Utah also rounding out the list.

More details on the various projects, some of which include interactive maps, can be found on the BLM website. So far, a 62 MW geothermal program in Coyote Canyon, Nevada has been approved.

Aaron Colter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Purdue University, he has worked for the NCAA, Dark Horse Comics, Willamette Week, AOL, The Huffington Post, Top Shelf Productions, DigitalTrends, theMIX agency, SuicideGirls, EarthTechling, d'Errico Studios and others. He is also the co-founder of BananaStandMedia.com, a free record label, recording studio, and distribution service for independent musicians.