BLM to expand on public lands solar zone success near Las Vegas

Apr 13, 2018

Solar panels.

Mike Baker, flickr

The Bureau of Land Management is moving ahead with plans to expand the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone, a low-conflict zone for solar development outside Las Vegas, Nevada that was established under the Western Solar Plan.

The proposed expansion, known as Dry Lake East, includes 1,800 acres of additional public land within this industrialized landscape. If fully developed, it could produce up to 150 megawatts of clean energy, enough to power close to 40,000 homes, based on metrics from other solar projects in the area. BLM will prepare an Environmental Assessment to analyze the impacts and benefits from designating the area for solar development. If the designation is approved, the BLM will then hold a competitive lease auction for rights to develop parcels in the zone.

“We are excited to see the BLM continue to advance its program for responsible renewable energy development on public lands by building on the success of the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone,” said Alex Daue, assistant director for energy and climate at The Wilderness Society. “The proposed expansion of the zone looks promising as a low-conflict solar development area, and we look forward to engaging in the environmental review process.”

Alex Thompson