The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has fast-tracked six wind energy projects located on public lands.
In 2012, the BLM will give priority status to 17 renewable energy projects (six wind, nine solar and two geothermal), representing about 7 GW. The BLM developed this priority list in collaboration with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service, with an emphasis on early consultation.
The following wind projects will receive priority status from the BLM:
- BP Wind's 500 MW Mohave County Wind Farm, Arizona;
- AltaGas' 70 MW Walker Ridge Wind, California;
- Duke Energy's 200 MW Searchlight Wind project, Nevada;
- Shell Wind Energy's 50 MW Sand Hills Ranch project, Wyoming;
- Power Co. of Wyoming's 3 GW Choke Cherry and Sierra Madre wind projects, Wyoming; and
- Teton Wind LLC's 360 MW White Mountain project, Wyoming.
The priority projects were selected based on a variety of criteria, including progress of the necessary public participation and environmental analysis under the National Environmental Protection Act and applicable state environmental laws. The BLM also used the screening criteria for priority wind and solar projects that were developed through the BLM policy memoranda issued in February in order to assist in evaluating and prioritizing the projects on this list.