Bureau of Land Management Solar Energy Permitting and Program Resources
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Maps of Areas Identified in the 2012 Western Solar Plan

The PDF maps and GIS shape files available below include designated leasing areas (solar energy zones), variance areas, and exclusion areas on BLM-administered lands in the six-state study area.

Maps of Solar Energy Zones (now Designated Leasing Areas) and Variance Areas

A PDF map of solar designations (including solar energy zones and variance areas) across the entire six-state study area is provided below.

PDF maps showing locations of the solar energy zones are available on the individual Solar Energy Zone webpages, as well as the state-level maps provided below.

Maps of Solar Land Use Allocations and Exclusions from the 2012 Western Solar Plan

PDF maps presenting solar energy zones (now DLAs), variance areas, and exclusion areas on BLM-administered lands in the six-state study area are presented below. (Note: Land use allocations from the 2016 DRECP Record of Decision (ROD) supersede the 2012 Solar PEIS allocations for the DRECP area in California. REDAs designated through the 2013 RDEP ROD are in variance areas in Arizona but must also comply with additional conditions from the RDEP ROD.)

For simplicity in viewing, the exclusion categories in these maps are grouped into four categories (representing the thirty-two specific exclusion categories listed and described in the 2012 Western Solar Plan, Table A-2).

As described in the 2012 Western Solar Plan, all utility-scale solar energy development must be in conformance with the exclusions adopted through the 2012 Western Solar Plan and the associated land use plan amendments. Variance areas may have changed and/or change in the future as Land Use Plans are amended to adopt new exclusion areas.

The exclusion categories represented in these maps are the following:

  1. Habitat Exclusions (e.g., FWS Critical Habitat areas)
  2. Land Use Exclusions (e.g., Areas of Critical Environmental Concern)
  3. NLCS Exclusions (e.g., National Conservation Areas)
  4. Physical Exclusions (only Lands with Slopes Greater Than 5% and Lands with Solar Insolation Less Than 6.5 kWh/m2/day)
Arizona (6.5 MB)
California (8.8 MB)
Colorado (4.7 MB)
Nevada (12.4 MB)
New Mexico (9.8 MB)
Utah (9.7 MB)

GIS Shapefiles

The geographic information system (GIS) data files available for download below contain key spatial data for land use allocations and exclusions identified through the 2012 Western Solar Plan in GIS shapefile format. The shapefiles may be viewed in desktop GIS software that allows users to conduct sophisticated geospatial analyses. A GIS software application is required to use the data and is not supplied in these downloads. The shapefile format is supported by many commercial and open source GIS software applications.

Who Should Use the GIS Shapefiles and Why?

The GIS shapefiles provide experienced GIS users with access to a wide variety of spatial data through commercial desktop mapping software that runs on their PCs, not on the Internet. After downloading, an Internet connection is not required to view and use the data; however, the data downloads for the shapefiles are large. Users with the required software can interact with the geospatial data and run sophisticated spatial analyses. Considerable expertise is required to use GIS software, which may require a commercial license.

Data File Descriptions

Exclusions are the focus of new data provided subsequent to 2012 Solar PEIS GIS Shapefiles available through the 2012 Solar PEIS Archives, with an emphasis on discerning among the different classes of exclusions as presented in the 2012 Western Solar Plan.

The data file descriptions available below include the locations within the six-state study area excluded from development under the 2012 Western Solar Plan. These files for individual states include the locations of Solar Energy Zones, Variance Lands, BLM-Administered Lands, and pending and authorized applications (as of 4/1/2015) in the supporting data.

A list of data layers for each state is available below.

Arizona (14 KB)
California (15 KB)
Colorado (14 KB)
Nevada (14 KB)
New Mexico (13 KB)
Utah (15 KB)

Download Data Files

The following files are compressed Zip file archives containing multiple files for each state. Separate data files are also provided below for the solar energy zones.
Please Note: Some of these files are large and may involve long download times.

Need Help? Have Questions?

If you experience any problems downloading these files, need assistance, or have questions about the maps or mapping data, please contact the Webmaster at: [email protected].

Please Note: This website does not provide technical support for GIS software, and questions related to installation or operation of software programs will not be answered.