Posted on June 3, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Regional plan helps speed reviews
New solar energy projects are sprouting across the sunny Southwest.
FRISCO — Up-front planning helped speed three big new solar projects through the federal review process, the U.S. Department of Interior said this week, touting the administration’s Western Solar Plan as a model for renewable energy development on public lands.
The plan mapped out solar energy development zones in areas where there was little potential for conflicts over resources. The reviews three new projects in Clark County, Nevada, where completed in 10 months, about half the time it previously took under the project-by-project system. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, energy, Environment, global warming, renewable energy | Tagged: BLM, public lands, renewable energy, solar energy, Solar energy zones, Western Solar Plan | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 6, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
103 gigawatts of generating capacity added during the year
Investment in offshore wind energy surged in 2014.
FRISCO — A sharp drop in oil prices in 2014 didn’t deter investment in renewable energy, which increased 17 percent after declining during the previous two years.
The surge in investment was driven my major expansion of solar installations in China and Japan and record investments in offshore wind projects in Europe. Altogether, global investment in renewables climbed to $270 billion for the year, according to an annual report from the United Nations Environmental Program.
All that investment added up to 103 gigawatts of generating capacity added around the world — equaling the energy generating capacity of all 158 nuclear power plant reactors in the USA, and the continuing drop in the cost of renewable energy technology means that there’s a greater return on every dollar invested, the report explained. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, renewable energy | Tagged: climate change, Environment, renewable energy investments, solar energy, wind energy | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 3, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Playing politics with our future
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Colorado won’t be lowering its 30 percent renewable energy target anytime soon, as lawmakers on a State House committee yesterday rejected a measure that would have cut the renewable energy standard from 30 percent to 15 percent. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, energy, renewable energy | Tagged: climate, climate change, Colorado, renewable energy, renewable energy standard, solar energy, wind energy | 2 Comments »
Posted on October 23, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Large-scale solar could add to the state’s renewable energy mix
Solar energy zones around the southwestern U.S. would yield thousands of megawatts of electricity if fully developed. Click on the map to visit a BLM website with links to detailed maps of the specific areas.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — After years of planning, the Bureau of Land Management is holding the first competitive auction for development of solar energy on public lands in Colorado.
Under Ken Salazar‘s leadership, the U.S. Department of Interior established a regulatory framework for solar development with a programmatic study that resulted in the designation of solar energy zones.
The Oct. 23 auction will award preference rights to submit a right-of-way application and a plan of development for commercial solar energy projects on three parcels of BLM-administered land, totaling 3,705 acres, in Conejos and Saguache counties in South Central Colorado. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, energy, Environment, renewable energy | Tagged: BLM, BLM solar auction, Bureau of Land management, Colorado, public lands, Renewable energy in the United States, solar energy | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 16, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Up-front analysis of solar energy zones could accelerate projects
Utility scale solar energy could help reduce U.S. dependence on fossil fuels.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Colorado has long been a leader in developing distributed solar energy resources, and the state may soon have it first commercial utility-scale solar energy projects.
Later this year (Oct. 24) the Bureau of Land Management will hold the first competitive auction for public lands in two solar energy zones in Colorado.
The sealed and oral bid auction will select a preferred applicant to submit a right-of-way application and plan of development for utility-scale solar energy projects on 3,705 acres in the De Tilla Gulch and Los Mogotes East Solar Energy Zones in Conejos and Saguache counties. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, renewable energy | Tagged: BLM, Colorado, renewable energy, solar energy, Solar energy zones, utility scale solar | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 20, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
New plan focuses on previously disturbed sites with few resource conflicts
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Obama administration’s push to develop more renewable energy resources reached another milestone this week, as the Interior Department finalized designation of 192,000 acres in Arizona as potentially suitable for utility-scale solar and wind energy development.
Any subsequent proposals for specific solar or wind energy projects will still need to undergo a site-specific environmental review.
According to the Interior Department, the lands identified in Arizona include previously disturbed sites (primarily former agricultural areas) and lands with low resource sensitivity and few environmental conflicts. Federal land managers in Arizona spent three years analyzing disturbed land and other areas with few known resource conflicts that could accommodate commercial renewable energy projects. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, renewable energy | Tagged: Arizona, Bureau of Land management, Environment, renewable energy, solar energy, wind energy | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 8, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Wind farming in the West.
Interior Department teams up with Defense Department to develop solar and wind on military lands
By Summit Voice
Continuing to push for utility scale renewable energy projects, the Obama administration said this week it will seek expedited review and approval for seven wind and solar projects
that would generate a total of 5,000 megawatts of electricity — providing enough power for about 1.5 million homes.
The federal Office of Management and Budget is charged with overseeing the government-wide effort to make the permitting more efficient, with a target date of October, 2014 for completing the federal permitting for the projects in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Wyoming under a March, 2012 executive order.
Almost at the same time, the Department of Interior and Department of Defense announced an agreement aimed at ncouraging appropriate development of renewable energy projects on public lands set aside for defense-related purposes, and other onshore and offshore areas near military installations. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, renewable energy | Tagged: Bureau of Land management, energy, Environment, Ken Salazar, Nevada, renewable energy, solar energy, United States Department of Defense, wind energy | Leave a comment »