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Department of the Interior Advances Renewable Energy Transmission Projects in Nevada

May 30, 2023
BLM takes steps to connect clean energy to Western power grid and support Biden-Harris administration's renewable energy goals.

The Department of the Interior has announced progress in permitting two transmission projects to support renewable energy development in Nevada.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is beginning the environmental review for the Greenlink North project and has released a draft environmental impact statement for the Greenlink West transmission project. These projects aim to connect eight GW of clean energy to the Western power grid.

These initiatives align with the Biden-Harris administration’s goals of accelerating transmission buildout, lowering energy costs, enhancing resilience to extreme weather, creating union jobs, and achieving a 100% clean electricity grid by 2035.

The Greenlink West transmission project will span over 450 miles, linking Las Vegas to Reno and enabling renewable energy development in multiple counties. The public comment period for the draft environmental impact statement is open for 90 days. If approved, the Greenlink West project could unlock up to 4 GW of renewable energy capacity.

The Greenlink North transmission project, covering 232 miles and running through several counties, has initiated a 45-day scoping and public comment period for the development of the BLM’s environmental impact statement. If approved, the Greenlink North project could unlock up to 4 GW of renewable energy.

The BLM aims to finalize the proposed documents and reach a record of decision for the Greenlink West project by late 2024. Additionally, draft environmental planning documents for the Greenlink North project will be released for public comment later in 2023.

These developments follow other significant milestones, including the approval of the Sunzia Southwest Transmission Project in New Mexico and construction approval for California’s Sunlight Storage II Battery Storage System. The BLM is also reviewing Utah’s Star Range Solar Project and Nevada’s Bonanza Solar Project.

Since 2021, the BLM has approved 35 renewable energy projects, expected to generate 8,160 MW of electricity and power over 2.6 million homes. Currently, the BLM is processing 74 utility-scale clean energy projects and reviewing over 150 applications for solar and wind development, as well as 51 applications for wind and solar energy testing.

Efficient permitting of renewable energy and transmission on public lands is essential to achieving the Biden-Harris administration’s carbon pollution-free power sector goal by 2035 and the Energy Act of 2020’s directive to permit 25 GW of solar, wind, and geothermal production on public lands by 2025.

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