Bureau of Land Management Solar Energy Permitting and Program Resources
Quick Links

Permitting in DRECP Variance Process Lands

Under the 2016 Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) Record of Decision (ROD), Variance Process Lands (VPLs) are lands available for solar energy development. Solar energy projects on VPLs are not streamlined, nor incentivized, and have a specific set of Conservation and Management Actions (CMAs).

The BLM processes renewable energy applications for solar energy right-of-way (ROW) grants in VPLs according to the regulations at 43 CFR 2800 and subparts as outlined in the Non-Competitive Procedures for Issuing Solar Energy ROW Grants.

In addition to the requirements in 43 CFR 2800, solar project applicants must demonstrate that a proposed activity on VPLs will:

  • avoid, minimize, and/or compensate for impacts to sensitive resources as per the CMAs,
  • be compatible with any underlying BLM land allocation,
  • be compatible with and not have an adverse effect on the Land Use Plan Amendment (LUPA) design and DRECP strategies as per the CMAs.
  • Follow the variance process described in the 2012 Western Solar Plan, Section B.5.