Bureau of Land Management Solar Energy Permitting and Program Resources
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Other Areas

States that were not evaluated in the 2012 Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) include Alaska, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. In these states, Bureau of Land Management (BLM)-administered land may be available for solar energy development. The land use plans in these states include information on lands excluded or avoided for development and may include other information relevant for solar energy development. The land use plans are available on the BLM National NEPA Register.

All solar energy development in these states must comply with relevant federal laws, regulations, and orders. The regulations for rights-of-way grants at 43 CFR 2800 and subparts (as amended in 2017) are applicable for permitting solar energy facilities in these states.

Some BLM-administered lands within these states are not available for solar energy development because they are legislatively and legally protected areas.

Identifying Lands Preferable for Solar Development

The 2012 Solar PEIS process for identifying SEZs could help other states identify lands preferable for solar energy development:

  1. Assess the demand for new or expanded SEZs;
  2. Establish technical and economic suitability criteria to identify locations where solar energy development is feasible;
  3. Apply environmental, cultural, and other screening criteria to find potential SEZs with low natural, cultural, and visual resource conflicts; and
  4. Analyze proposed SEZs through a planning and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process to make finer-scale adjustments and decisions regarding SEZs.

Identifying Exclusion or Avoidance Areas

The 32 specific exclusion categories identified in the 2012 Solar PEIS could help other states identify exclusion or avoidance areas.

Relevant Policies from 2012 Solar PEIS

Other relevant policies from the 2012 Solar PEIS could help other states prioritize, streamline and incentivize solar energy development while protecting important environmental and cultural resources.