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Solar Energy Permitting and Development

The BLM’s policy is to facilitate environmentally responsible development of solar energy projects on the public lands, consistent with the provisions of Secretarial Order 3285A1 dated March 11, 2009, as amended February 22, 2010, which set renewable energy development as a priority  for the Department of the Interior.  

Applications for solar energy projects will be processed and authorized as rights-of-way under Title V of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and Title 43, Part 2800, of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).  Utility-scale concentrating solar power or photovoltaic electric generating facilities must comply with the BLM’s planning, environmental, and right-of-way application requirements.  

The BLM has in place a number of tools to facilitate and analyze development, including the Western Solar Energy Plan, which identifies Solar Energy Zones with high potential for successful applicants.

Read more specific information about solar energy permitting and development:


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The Ivanpah Solar Power Facility is located in Nipton, California, not far from the Nevada stateline.  Photo provided by Michael Hildner

Download guidelines and requirements for completing a solar energy plan of development.