One solar energy zone (SEZ) was identified in New Mexico through the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Solar PEIS: the Afton SEZ.
Additional SEZ information and maps for the Afton SEZ are available on the SEZ-specific Web page for Afton.
In the Solar PEIS, the BLM committed to preparing solar regional mitigation strategies (SRMSs) for the SEZs. These regional mitigation strategies were intended to simplify and improve the mitigation process for future solar projects in SEZs.
The BLM began development of a solar regional mitigation strategy for the Afton SEZ in New Mexico in 2016. Information on the draft Afton Solar Regional Mitigation Strategy is available on the project website, linked below.
Based on IM-2019-018, the BLM no longer may require compensatory mitigation as a condition for project approvals. However, the SEZ characterization data and discussion of potential impacts of development in the SRMS documents may still prove useful for consideration during project permitting activities. Additionally, the BLM conducted outreach to support the SRMS projects with a broad representation of stakeholders, including industry, state and local governments, tribes, and local communities, and this stakeholder input to the SRMS documents also remains valuable.