Zoned out

Some Western areas identified as having the most potential for solar energy development with the least environmental conflicts—including parts of Nevada—could be eliminated or reduced, following roughly 80,000 public comments on the plan for solar development zones.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced last week that the plan would be revised after taking the comments into consideration. The original environmental study selected 24 “solar energy development zones” in six Western states: Nevada, Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

Salazar said it was too soon to say which zones would be eliminated or reduced, but that the new plan will include a deeper analysis of the access to transmission lines and potential wildlife impacts.