BUCKEYE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – TThe Bureau of Land Management is launching three Arizona solar energy projects as part of its new West-Wide solar plan initiative.
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and other national officials announced the plan after touring the Sonoran Solar Energy Project, an effort expected to power 91,000 homes. In 2019, BLM and the Department of Energy released a solar energy impact statement for Arizona, New Mexico, California, and other neighboring states. This year, BLM is looking ahead to add more states to the next statement to prioritize solar, geothermal, and wind energy. “This Administration is committed to expanding clean energy development to address climate change, enhance America’s energy security and provide for good-paying union jobs,” said Secretary Haaland.
According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy data, Arizona ranks number 5 in the top 5 states with the most untapped wind energy potential. Only around 618 megawatts of wind energy capacity have been installed, making up around 0.6% of the state’s electric grid. That leaves around 474,967 megawatts still available to be tapped into.
Arizona residents can anticipate upcoming scoping meetings for the proposed Jove solar project that would generate up to 600 megawatts of renewable energy on more than 3,000 acres of public land in La Paz County. Then, there will be a two-year segregation of more than 4,400 acres of public land associated with two proposed solar energy projects, including a review of the Pinyon Solar project in Maricopa County and the 300 megawatts Elisabeth Solar project in Yuma County.
Across the West, BLM is working on 65 onshore clean energy projects, including wind and geothermal projects. These projects could add more than 31,000 megawatts of renewable energy to the western electric grid. Learn more about the bureau’s 2021 Renewable Energy Fact Sheet.
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