A legal update from our colleagues, Aaron Courtney, Michael O’Connell & Jake Storms:

Unlike other types of energy development on lands administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management ("BLM") (e.g., wind, geothermal), solar energy has consistently encountered significant delays caused in large part by a regulatory authorization system that has yet to catch up to industry demand. ]

In an effort to streamline the analysis of solar energy developers seeking right-of-way grants from BLM, the agency, together with the U.S. Department of Energy, has proposed a draft Programmatic EIS for Solar Energy Development that could have significant implications for solar project development on BLM lands in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah (http://solareis.anl.gov/).

Just as the regulatory landscape appears to be heading toward a more predictable, expedient system of authorizations, however, opposition to solar development by tribes and other stakeholders is on the rise and has turned litigious. To continue reading, click here.