Idaho Renewable Energy Strategy

Addressing the increase in industry demand for renewable energy projects on BLM-managed public lands in southern Idaho, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is making available the Public Engagement Report, which compiles feedback received during four public meetings held in early spring. Based on public response, BLM Idaho has changed how we process renewable energy applications and shared that new policy with the public during the Idaho Renewable Energy Strategy rollout. Under the new policy, BLM Idaho is now requiring companies to gather input locally on proposed projects to understand stakeholders’ concerns before analyzing the project under the National Environmental Policy Act.

“Our objective is for companies to use early input from local residents and stakeholder groups to determine where best to locate renewable energy projects, so the BLM is only processing applications that have the greatest technical and financial feasibility, and the fewest anticipated conflicts with natural and cultural resources and other public land uses,” said BLM Idaho State Director Karen Kelleher. “As a responsible steward of America’s public lands, we learned lessons from early projects and are trying to improve the process for analyzing applications for renewable energy projects. 

This report includes feedback on the new process and where the public feels renewable energy might best be located on BLM-managed public lands in southern Idaho. The report will serve as an essential tool for informing applicants about public sentiment concerning potential impacts on BLM-managed public lands to help inform the location and design of future projects.   

Through information sharing and individual conversations, it was BLM Idaho’s goal to better understand and address the public’s concerns regarding renewable energy development and to assist stakeholders in understanding the types of information and the process under which the BLM is required to analyze proposals.  

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.

Idaho Renewable Energy Strategy Public Engagement Report

Solar Energy

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.    

Wind Energy