Renewable energy: 19 new priority projects in the USA

Construction could start by 2011. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM, the agency within the Department of the Interior that administers public lands) announced a new list of 19 priority projects new list of 19 priority projects for the development of renewable energy.

The list includes nine solar power (concentrating solar power and photovoltaic), five wind farm plants and five geothermal power projects, all located in the western states, totaling 2673 MW of solar power, 1204 MW of wind power and 489 MW of geothermal energy.

To obtain the recognition of "priority", the renewable energy planned projects on public land must already have reached the stage of environmental assessment by the BLM, which must approve them by certifying "the limited environmental impact." Which means that there are presupporti to close the cycle of authorization and the opening up of sites within a year. According to the BLM, in fact, most or all new priority projects would be launched by 2011

To be recognized as a priority project, projects to be developed on public lands must have progressed far enough to formally start the environmental review by the BLM, which will have approve them and certify their “limited impact to the environment”. Meaning that they must have the potential to be cleared for approval and construction can start within one year. Indeed, all or almost all the new priority projects can be launched by 2011.

To be noted that, over the past few months, the BLM has been actively engaged in promoting the development of renewable energy – especially wind and solar – plants on public lands. To this end, it has taken into account not only recommendations from federal agencies, but also from industry and environmental groups, thus increasing guarantees on the final outcome and timing of the authorization process.