Federal government moving to spur solar energy development

The federal government has taken new steps to help spur the development of solar energy resources in western states.

According to an announcement from the Department of the Interior, the agency is evaluating lands it controls for their solar energy generating potential. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar indicated that 24 specific areas in the west have the potential to generate up to 100,000 megawatts of solar energy. The land parcels are said to be scattered across six western states.

"With coordinated environmental studies, good land-use planning and zoning and priority processing, we can accelerate responsible solar energy production that will help build a clean-energy economy for the 21st century," said Salazar.

By providing landscape-scale planning and zoning for solar projects on certain federal lands, the government is hoping to streamline the permitting process and allow for faster development of proposed projects. In turn, this would also help the economy recovery by creating more green jobs.

To further meet this goal, the Interior Department reports that it will be opening four renewable energy coordination (RECO) offices, one each in California, Arizona, Nevada and Wyoming.

Author: Tom Staples

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Posted in: Solar Policy

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