Energy Resources


Both President Barack Obama and California Governor Jerry Brown have set high targets for renewable energy.  The President calls for doubling renewable energy production in three years.  The Governor has signed a bill setting a target for California's utilities to generate one third of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is playing a key role in achieving these goals. Many of the state's wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass resources can be found on BLM-managed public lands. The BLM allows access to these lands for renewable energy development, helping California reach a secure and reliable energy future.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar signed an order in March 2009 making renewable energy production a top priority for the Department and the BLM.  He also signed an order in November 2009 establishing the Renewable Energy Action Team, or REAT, comprised of BLM, California Department of Fish and Game, the California Energy Commission, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

Planning for a Clean Energy Future

The BLM is partnering with its fellow REAT agencies to develop a Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) for California. The plan will identify low conflict areas for renewable energy that will benefit from an easier permitting process.  The plan will also set aside important conservation and recreation areas. The DRECP's end result will be a roadmap for where development should occur in the desert to ensure California can meet its renewable energy goals with the least environmental harm.

The BLM is also planning for renewable energy in the West Chocolate Mountains Renewable Energy Evaluation Area


Energy logos - wind, solar, geothermal, and transmisison lines

Renewable Energy Pending Projects


 

 

Renewable Energy Summary
(As of July 2014)

 

Wind

Solar

Area

Testing ApplicationsTesting Authorizations*Development ApplicationsDevelopment Authorizations**Development ApplicationsDevelopment Authorizations
Statewide Acres

33
430,200

26
230,735

7
68,864

3
26,795

12
59,891

8
23,978

Desert Acres

33
430,200

18
137,704

5
49,575

3
26,795

11
58,382

8
23,978

Central CA Acres

0
0

2
9,051

1
7,882

0
0

1
1,509

0
0

Northern CA Acres

0
0

6
83,980

1
11,407

0
0

0
0

0
0

* Authorized testing acreages exclude projects submitted for development.

** The BLM authorized more than 3,000 wind turbines on public lands before 2003, but they are not included in this table.

The BLM has also approved 6 transmission line rights-of-way associated with private land solar facilities.


Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) and 
Renewable Energy Action Team (REAT) Documents and Announcements
  • DRECP Draft Agreement Between the BLM and California Department of Fish and Wildlife, September 18, 2014
    Once executed, this draft Agreement will provide a framework through which the BLM and California Department of Fish and Wildlife will have memorialized and made specific their cooperation and coordination to protect and conserve fish, wildlife, plants and their habitat within the DRECP area. This Agreement is in draft form and may change in order to accommodate input received during the public review of the Draft DRECP. Public comments on this draft Agreement must be submitted to BLM_CA_DFW_Agreement@blm.gov no later than November 21, 2014.

Wind energy field in southern California.

Wind energy field in southern California.



Just for Fun - Get Energized!

Get Energized is an interactive program on energy education.  For use by teachers and students, this program includes a printable educator's guide. 

Get Energized CD cover



A Teacher's Guide to ENERGY on Public Lands

Learn about energy resources on public lands, both renewable and non-renewable.