The Bureau of Land Management invited the public to open house meetings to outline the process for a strategic, landscape-scale approach to respond to increased interest in renewable energy projects proposed on public lands managed by the BLM in southern Idaho. The goal of the meetings was to gather feedback, increase partner engagement, explain how BLM processes applications and highlight the many multiple uses of public lands. Information received will be summarized in a public report for renewable energy developers to use when considering projects on public land.
BLM hosted in-person and virtual open house meetings on the following dates. Each meeting began with a BLM presentation after which participants were able to speak one-on-one with BLM staff stationed throughout the venue, or in breakout rooms during the virtual session, to ask questions and provide feedback.
Feb. 22, 2023: Hilton Garden Inn, 700 Lindsay Blvd., Idaho Falls, ID 83402
Feb. 23, 2023: Canyon Crest Event Center, 350 Canyon Crest Dr., Twin Falls, ID 83301. This session was scheduled to coincide with the Lava Ridge Wind Project draft review period public meeting to allow participants to attend both events.
Feb. 27, 2023: Courtyard by Marriott, 1789 S. Eagle Rd., Meridian, ID 83642
March 6, 2023: virtually via Zoom.
“As a responsible steward of America’s public lands, we enjoyed sharing information on what steps the BLM takes when we receive future applications,” says BLM Idaho State Director Karen Kelleher. “We heard from our stakeholders, public and Tribal partners about their perspectives on the renewable energy application and project evaluation processes, as well as what other factors or data the BLM should consider, as we continue to receive and process proposed projects.”
The BLM manages vast stretches of public lands that have the potential to make significant contributions to the nation’s renewable energy portfolio. Renewable energy projects on our nation’s public lands support the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035, as well as Congress’ direction in the Energy Act of 2020 to permit 25 gigawatts of solar, wind and geothermal production on public lands no later than 2025. Several companies have expressed interest in developing renewable energy projects on BLM-managed public lands in southern Idaho, because the lands are near existing and planned transmission infrastructure.
According to the National Renewable Energy Lab, solar has been used as a power source since the 7th Century B.C. when the sun's rays were used to ignite fire. Today, solar is the most abundant energy source powering our homes, businesses and vehicles. Click on the links below to learn why solar is the fastest growing source of electricity.
- Solar Energy Basics Video
- Interactive Solar Projects Map
- Global Horizontal Irradiance Annual and Monthly Maps
- Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) is the total amount of shortwave radiation received from above by a surface horizontal to the ground.
- Global Normal Irradiance Annual and Monthly Maps
- Global Normal Irradiance (GNI) is the total irradiance from the sun at the surface of Earth at a given location with a surface element perpendicular to the Sun.