SEIA and LSA Statement on Department of the Interior's Release of the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Solar
New rules will govern solar development on public lands
WASHINGTON and SACRAMENTO – Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), and Shannon Eddy, executive director of the Large-scale Solar Association (LSA), released the following statement today in response to the Department of the Interior's release of the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Solar Energy Development on Public Lands:
"We applaud the Department of the Interior and the Department of Energy for undertaking this major effort to tackle the process for solar development on public lands. "We're hopeful that this detailed environmental analysis will dramatically speed the permitting process and bring more solar online to serve the American people," said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA.
"The U.S. Southwest is home to some of the best solar resources in the world. It's a region universally recognized for its enormous potential to enhance our energy security. Consequently, the Administration set a goal to permit 10 gigawatts of additional renewable energy projects on public lands by the end of this year. The U.S. solar industry is ready to meet that challenge. Several impressive solar projects are under construction in the Southwest right now, adding this vital resource to our domestic energy supply, while delivering clean power and spurring new job creation," noted Resch. "The PEIS identifies a process that will accommodate well-sited solar power plants outside of designated Solar Energy Zones and protects the rights of pending solar applications. The Bureau of Land Management must ensure pending projects do not get bogged down in more bureaucratic process."
"Balancing the growing demand for domestically-produced solar energy with conservation objectives is not an easy task. We are appreciative of the Departments' efforts to gather input from all stakeholders. We look forward to working with them to refine the process for permitting solar power plants and transmission in the West," added Shannon Eddy, executive director of LSA.
The U.S. solar energy industry employs 100,000 Americans at more than 5,600 companies, mostly small businesses, across the nation in all 50 states.
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,100 member companies to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. www.seia.org.
About the Large-scale Solar Association:
LSA is the trade association for the utility-scale solar industry and represents the nation's largest developers and providers of utility-scale solar generation resources. Collectively, LSA's members have contracted to provide more than 7 gigawatts of clean, sustainable solar power under contract to California's load-serving entities. LSA members develop, own and operate various types of utility-scale solar technologies, including photovoltaic and solar thermal system designs. LSA companies are leaders in the utility-scale solar industry and share a common understanding of, and concern about, the issues facing development of the solar industry. They are actively developing technology and strengthening markets to facilitate significant penetration of renewable energy into the western United States power sector, as well as other states, and regional and federal venues, when appropriate.