Unfrozen solar potential

The Bureau of Land Management has reversed its earlier decision to freeze solar project applications in six Western states, including Nevada.

It’s preparing to conduct a 22-month study of the environmental, social and economic impacts on large-scale solar developments on public lands in Nevada, Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. In late May, the moratorium effectively put 130 applications for development on more than 1 million acres on hold. The solar industry argued that this was contrary to how the BLM treated the oil and gas industry. The applications now await processing and potentially could generate 70 billion watts of electricity, enough to power about 20 million homes.