Wednesday, September 14, 2016

USA: Department of Interior Approves Phase 1 of Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

Secretary Jewell, State of California Announce Landmark Renewable Energy, Conservation Plan for 10 Million Acres of California Desert (News Release)

The plan designates Development Focus Areas with high-quality solar, wind and geothermal energy potential and access to transmission, sited in low conflict areas. Applications in these areas will benefit from a streamlined permitting process, predictable survey requirements, and simplified mitigation measures. 

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today joined federal, state and local officials to announce approval of Phase I of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), an innovative, landscape-level renewable energy and conservation planning effort covering 10.8 million acres of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management in the California desert.

Phase I is part of a larger, comprehensive effort with the State of California designed to provide a blueprint across 22 million acres of public and private land in California’s desert region for streamlining renewable energy development while conserving unique and valuable ecosystems and providing outdoor recreation opportunities. The lands specifically identified for renewable energy development by the plan have the potential to generate up to 27,000 megawatts of renewable energy – enough to power over eight million homes – that will help meet federal and state renewable energy and climate change goals.

An informational webinar will be held on Sept. 15, from 10:00-11:30 a.m. PST to present an overview of the plan and next steps for implementation. Webinar details are available at and

The federal plan for these 10.8 million acres of public lands is detailed in the Bureau of Land Management's Record of Decision and Land Use Plan Amendment. To view these documents as well as additional DRECP information, visit or

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