Washington, DC and Sacramento, CA (PRWEB) October 12, 2012
Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), and Shannon Eddy, executive director of the Large-scale Solar Association (LSA), released the following statement today in response to the Department of the Interior?s record of decision on the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Solar Energy Development on Public Lands:
?We thank the Department of the Interior and the Department of Energy for finalizing the process for solar energy development on public lands. We hope that this decision results in a permitting process that brings more solar online to serve the American people,? said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA.
?The U.S. Southwest is home to some of the best solar resources in the world. It?s a region universally-recognized for its ability to enhance our energy security. The Administration set a goal to permit 10 gigawatts of additional renewable energy projects on public lands by the end of this year. The U.S. solar industry is ready to meet that challenge. Major solar projects are under construction in the Southwest right now, increasing and diversifying our domestic energy supply, while delivering clean power and creating jobs.
?The PEIS identifies a process that has the potential to accommodate well-sited solar power plants outside of designated Solar Energy Zones and protects the rights of pending solar applications. The Bureau of Land Management must ensure pending projects do not get bogged down in more bureaucratic processes,? added Resch.
?Balancing the growing demand for domestically-produced solar energy with conservation objectives is not an easy task. We are appreciative of the Departments? efforts to gather input from all stakeholders. We look forward to working with them to refine the process for permitting solar power plants and transmission in the West, with the hope that new solar projects will move forward in the near future,? said Shannon Eddy, executive director of LSA.
The U.S. solar energy industry employs 100,000 Americans at more than 5,600 companies, mostly small businesses, across all 50 states. The industry more than doubled the amount of solar installed in the U.S. in the second quarter of this year compared to 2011, and growth is expected to continue in the second half of 2012. More than 400 utility-scale solar projects larger than one megawatt are currently under construction in the U.S.