US: 440 MW of PV approved under Western Solar Plan

Designed to streamline permitting processes, BLM’s Western Solar Plan approved the three PV projects in under 10 months.

Via a competitive auction, held last June by BLM, US$5.8 million was raised for solar leasing on six parcels of public land in the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone (SEZ) in County Clark, Nevada.

The projects include Invenergy Solar Development LLC’s Harry Allen Solar Energy Center, which is expected to be up to 134 MW in size. Following the approval, Invenergy has applied for a right of way (ROW) grant to construct, operate, maintain, and decommission the ground-mounted project across two phases totaling 112 MW and 18 MW, respectively.

First Solar’s 200 MW Playa Solar Project also received approval and is now seeking a ROW grant. It is set to be built around 14 miles northeast of the city of Las Vegas. NV Energy’s around 100 MW Dry Lake Solar Energy Center was the final project to be given the green light by BLM.

Commenting, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said, "Through thoughtful planning and upfront public participation, these solar projects demonstrate we can reduce permitting times, create certainty for energy developers, and achieve better outcomes for communities and the environment."