Bureau of Land Management Solar Energy Program Western Solar Plan
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Solar Regional Mitigation Strategies

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been conducting Solar Regional Mitigation Strategy efforts since 2012, starting with the Dry Lake SRMS Pilot Project. Information on other complete or ongoing SRMS projects is available through the following websites:

Afton Solar Energy Zone (SEZ):
Arizona SRMS (3 SEZs):
Colorado SRMS (3 SEZs):
Dry Lake SEZ:
Dry Lake Valley North SEZ:
Utah SRMS (3 SEZs):

As part of the BLM's ongoing efforts to implement a landscape approach to managing the public lands, the BLM also has released its draft Procedural Guidance for Developing Solar Regional Mitigation Strategies for public viewing. The BLM is conducting outreach to support its SRMS projects with a broad representation of stakeholders, including industry, state and local governments, Tribes, and local communities. A workshop on this topic was convened in Denver, CO in July of 2014. That workshop and other outreach efforts are not necessarily reflected in the draft Procedural Guidance document (available below).

The regional mitigation strategies are conducted in accordance with the BLM's mitigation policy, Manual Section-1794, and Mitigation Handbook (H-1794-1).

For more information contact Michael Hildner, BLM Renewable Energy Coordination Office, Washington D.C., at mhildner@blm.gov.

Background

As an incentive to develop projects in SEZs, the BLM has begun to establish regional mitigation strategies for all SEZs. Regional mitigation strategies are expected to simplify and improve the mitigation process for future projects in SEZs.

Regional mitigation strategies developed for SEZs will be used to inform leasing decisions and project authorizations within SEZs. They will be developed through a transparent stakeholder and public engagement process. As described in Appendix A, Section A.2.4 of the Final Solar PEIS (PDF, 3.0 MB), the BLM expects that regional mitigation strategies will consist of the following elements:

  1. A description of SEZ and regional baseline conditions against which unavoidable impacts are assessed;
  2. An assessment of the unavoidable impacts and identification of which unavoidable impacts warrant off-site mitigation;
  3. The identification of regional mitigation goals;
  4. The identification of a method for calculating recommended mitigation fees for unavoidable adverse impacts that warrant mitigation;
  5. The identification and recommendation of a management structure to hold and apply any mitigation investment funds;
  6. The evaluation and recommendation of appropriate mitigation investment locations, objectives, and/or actions; and
  7. Planning for mitigation implementation and the development of long-term monitoring and adaptive management recommendations to evaluate and maximize the effectiveness of off-site mitigation actions.
Updated: 2/13/2017