Solar Development on Public Lands in Arizona
The BLM's policy is to facilitate environmentally responsible commercial development of solar energy projects on public lands. Right-of-way applications for solar energy projects are to be identified as a high priority field office workload and are to be processed in a timely manner.
In keeping with that policy, BLM Arizona has established a Renewable Energy Coordinating Office. The office handles applications for solar energy projects proposed for public lands in the State.
BLM Arizona's strategic goals include helping the State meet its goal of getting 15 percent of its electrical power from renewable energy sources by 2025.
Arizona is prime territory for solar energy development with its 325 days of sunshine a year.
BLM Arizona has 19 applications for solar projects on public land. The BLM is actively involved in preparing environmental impact statements for two of those: Quartzsite Solar and Hyder Valley Solar. A record of decision for Sonoran Solar was signed in late 2011, providing for use of BLM lands for a photovoltaic project.
In addition, Arizona is supporting the national Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. The study was released in 2012. It provides for designating solar energy zones on public lands.