US Moves Closer To Add 25 GW RE Capacity With New Projects

Highlights :

  • The department has now permitted nearly 29 gigawatts of clean energy – enough to power more than 12 million homes across the country.
US Moves Closer To Add 25 GW RE Capacity With New Projects US Moves Closer To Reach 25 GW RE Capacity With New Projects

Joe Biden administration recently announced a series of milestones and associated actions to promote responsible clean energy development on public lands. This is to help achieve President Biden’s goal of creating a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035.

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland recently announced that the department has now permitted more than 25 gigawatts of clean energy projects. This it claims would surpass of 2025 target and would generate enough clean energy to power more than 12 million homes across the country. This includes solar, wind and geothermal projects, as well as gen-tie lines on public lands that are essential for connecting clean electricity projects on both federal and non-federal land to the grid.

The Department also announced a final renewable energy rule from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that will lower consumer energy costs and the cost of developing solar and wind projects, improve renewable energy project application processes, and incentivize developers to continue responsibly developing solar and wind projects on public lands. Consistent with the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to create high-quality jobs in the clean energy economy and support American manufacturing, the final rule includes additional incentives for use of project labor agreements and American-made materials.

“Our public lands are playing a critical role in the clean energy transition,” said Acting Deputy Secretary Laura Daniel-Davis. “Finalizing the Renewable Energy rule is a significant milestone that will allow the Interior Department to continue leading the way on renewable energy while furthering President Biden’s commitment to building a clean energy economy, tackling the climate crisis, protecting lands and waters, promoting American energy security, and creating jobs in communities across the country.”
In addition, the BLM announced that two solar projects – the Arica and Victory Pass projects in California – are now fully operational, adding 465 megawatts of clean electricity to the grid. With these two projects coming online, more than 10 gigawatts of clean energy are currently being generated on public lands, powering more than 5 million homes across the West.

The Energy Act of 2020 authorized the BLM to reduce acreage rents and capacity fees to promote the greatest use of wind and solar energy resources. The BLM initially reduced these fees through guidance in 2022. This final rule codifies further reductions, improving financial predictability for developers pursuing long-term projects on public land.

“Renewable energy projects like Arica and Victory Pass on public lands create good-paying jobs and are crucial in achieving the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035,” said BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning. “Investing in clean and reliable renewable energy represents the BLM’s commitment to addressing climate change. BLM personnel are working tirelessly to efficiently review and approve projects, with significant and thoughtful engagement from states, Tribes and other partners, to ensure we supply families and communities with clean energy that will lower costs and help tackle climate change.”

Surpassed President Biden’s Goal of 25 Gigawatts by 2025

The department and BLM reviewed and approved dozens of new clean energy projects, including solar, wind, and geothermal projects, as well as interconnected gen-tie lines that are vital to clean energy projects proposed on non-federal land. The announcement that the department surpassed the goal to permit 25 gigawatts of renewable energy included the approval of more than double the number of projects than were approved during the previous administration. The department has now permitted nearly 29 gigawatts of clean energy – enough to power more than 12 million homes across the country. In addition to specific project approvals, the department has also leased eight new areas in solar energy zones with the capacity to generate nearly 2.5 gigawatts of additional clean energy.

BLM is currently processing permits for an additional 66 utility-scale clean energy projects proposed on public lands in the western United States. These projects have the combined potential to create thousands of good-paying jobs, add more than 32 additional gigawatts of renewable energy to the western electric grid and power millions of more homes. The BLM is also undertaking a preliminary review of about 200 applications for solar and wind development, as well as more than 100 applications for solar and wind energy site area testing. The BLM continues to track this clean energy permitting progress through an online dashboard.

The final rule continues the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to creating American manufacturing jobs while helping to build a clean energy economy, including by providing financial incentives for developers to use project labor agreements and domestic materials. The BLM sought comment on these additional incentives in last year’s proposed rule and developed the final provisions following public feedback, including from labor unions and a wide range of clean energy industry stakeholders.

The two projects represent a combined infrastructure investment of about $689 million, will generate $5.9 million in annual operational economic benefit, provide power to nearly 139,000 homes, and add up to 465 megawatts of clean energy generating capacity and 400 megawatts of battery storage. 

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