26 July 2012 How the West Was Won: Interior Announces New Solar Energy Plan Posted by: William Lutz | 2 comments | Share: Building solar “smart from the start” just makes sense The U.S. Department of the Interior finalized new plans for solar energy development on public lands in the west on Tuesday after a prolonged joint effort among stakeholders and government officials to create environmentally responsible and economically beneficial renewable energy development guidelines.The large-scale plan, known as the Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement or SPEIS, will now set the stage for the next generation of renewable energy development in the West. And it will do so in a way that protects wildlife and habitat. Proponents of solar energy have long sought guidelines for responsible development that would protect the interests of vulnerable wildlife/wildlands while also providing economic incentives for continued growth. With the announcement of this plan, the Interior has clearly emphasized that kind of “smart from the start” mindset, making it clear that protecting the environment will need to be a strong factor in future endeavors involving solar energy in the western U.S. Because the release of the statement is so fresh, analysis will soon begin on the part of numerous organizations involved, including Defenders, to assess its various components. Keeping a close eye on this ongoing project is a necessary element to ensure we continue to develop renewable energy “smart from the start.” For now, however, the Interior’s announced plans show that long-term changes are on the way that could impact the environmental footprint of solar energy development for the better. To read more about the solar plan, click on http://www.defenders.org/press-release/interior-unveils-first-ever-national-solar-energy-plan-public-lands 2 Responses to “How the West Was Won: Interior Announces New Solar Energy Plan” Hammad September 9th, 2012 The west hasnt won yet There is still a long way to go with the affordability, regulations and popularization of solar energy in homes across America. But it is a step in the right direction! Sunny December 4th, 2013 intresting information, hmm the new solar plan Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Helicopter gunning kills 23 wolves in Idaho; Urge Secretary Jewell to abandon gray wolf delisting proposal — Call your representative by March 14; Washington wildlife agency urged to end support for abolishing federal wolf protections; The latest on Governor Otter’s wolf control board. Two Too Many Development Projects in the Ivanpah Valley While these projects most definitely directly impact a species that has been identified as threatened and is dependent on the habitat where they would be built, Silver State South and Stateline’s approval is most troubling for a bigger reason. You see, this isn’t just an issue for the Ivanpah Valley. Developers and agencies need to be conscious of how and where they plan energy projects all across the country. They need to look at renewable energy planning with a landscape-wide lens, understanding that building in the right places and making an effort to minimize environmental impacts from the start are essential. California’s Rim Fire: Opportunities Rise from the Ashes After California’s devastating Rim Fire, will officials take the opportunity to give nature a chance to fully recover?