Under the Biden administration’s latest green energy effort, New Mexico and Colorado are among 11 western states where the government wants to locate solar energy projects on 22 million acres of federal lands.
Along with Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah, those states were picked as the best sites for the projects. The Interior Department released a draft plan this week updating an Obama-era policy th establish special zones for solar projects. It’s part of the Biden administration push to site more renewable energy operations on federal lands.
Reuters reported the Interior Department made changes to the Bureau of Land Management’s 11-year old Western Solar plan, explaining they were necessary because of advanced technology and a growing demand for renewable energy.
The proposal also includes federal lands in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. The sites are to be located within 10 miles of existing or planned transmission lines.
“By updating this plan, we will facilitate faster and easier responsible permitting in priority areas and improve consistency in processing rights of way for utility-scale solar projects,” Laura Daniel-Davis, Interior’s acting deputy secretary, said on a call with reporters, according to Reuters.
The proposal is open for public comment until April 18. A final plan is expected to be published before the end of the year.