Biden unveils ambitious solar plan for the West

Photovoltaic panels are pictured at the Appaloosa Solar 1 project near Cedar City on Thursday, June 8, 2023.
Photovoltaic panels are pictured at the Appaloosa Solar 1 project near Cedar City on Thursday, June 8, 2023. | Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
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A new roadmap released Wednesday by the Biden administration spells out a plan to bring a significant amount of solar resources to the West to meet his goal of a 100% clean energy grid by 2030.

The Bureau of Land Management also announced the next steps on several renewable projects in Arizona, California and Nevada, representing more than 1,700 megawatts of potential solar generation and 1,300 megawatts of potential battery storage capacity.

“The Interior Department’s work to responsibly and quickly develop renewable energy projects is crucial to achieving the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 — and this updated solar roadmap will help us get there in more states and on more lands across the West,” said Acting Deputy Secretary Laura Daniel-Davis.

“Through historic investments from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the Interior Department is helping build modern, resilient climate infrastructure that protects.”


Public lands, officials stressed, are key to building up renewable energy infrastructure.

“Our public lands are playing a critical role in the clean energy transition — and the progress the Bureau of Land Management is announcing today on several clean energy projects across the West represents our continued momentum in achieving those goals,” said BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning.

“Investing in clean and reliable renewable energy represents the BLM’s commitment to building a clean energy economy, tackling the climate crisis, promoting American energy security, and creating jobs in communities across the country.”

Daniel-Davis said it is important to keep these projects on the ground and operational.

“The president has been crystal clear. The time to act on climate is now. Climate change poses an existential threat not just to our environment, but to our health, our communities and our economic well-being. As we look to stem the worsening impacts of the climate crisis. We know that clean energy including transmission lines, solar energy and storage projects on public lands, is helping communities across the country be part of the climate solution, while creating good paying jobs.”

The announcement targets 22 million acres in a trio of states to produce enough energy to power 3.4 million homes, coupled with other clean endeavors.