“This project is a key milestone in our work to spur smart development of solar and wind energy on public lands across the West,” Secretary Salazar said. “Arizona has huge potential when it comes to building a clean energy economy, and this landscape-level plan lays a solid foundation for making sure that it happens in the right way and in the right places.”
“We analyzed what would be the impact of future development on these resources on these lands,” Pedrick said. “Interested investors can look at our maps and analysis and identify areas that already have been shown for having less resource conflicts, or that are probably more suited for renewable energy development.”
Thanks to solar panels put in by the state of Arizona as well as Arizona Public Service, some of the structures will be used as shade in their picnic area. Sloncen added that the Fort Yuma Rotary Club built a concession stand and a sand volleyball court among other things on campus to be used by the community.
“This historic initiative provides a roadmap for landscape-level planning that will lead to faster, smarter utility-scale solar development on public lands and reflects President Obama’s commitment to grow American made energy and create jobs.”
Bob Sloncen with Dateland School said that because the campus also doubles as a community center for town events and family gatherings, it was the perfect place for the two companies to give funds to as they were looking to support the community as a whole with the donation.
“This initiative exemplifies our ‘Smart-from-the-Start’ review process, which puts appropriate pieces in place for responsibly developing renewable energy projects on public lands,” acting BLM Director Mike Pool commented. “The Arizona project can really serve as a model for future statewide analyses for responsible energy development in the West.”