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 identified as a high priority field office workload.
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 14 applications for solar projects on public land. The BLM is actively involved in preparing environmental impact statements for two of those: Hyder Valley Solar and the Maricopa Solar Park. A record of decision for Sonoran Solar was signed in late 2011, providing for use of BLM lands for a photovoltaic project. A record of decision for the Quartzsite Solar Energy Project was signed in May 2013. That project is to employ a concentrated solar tower technology.