Final rule issued by BLM makes wind development on public land less likely

November 11, 2016

Washington, D.C., November 11, 2016 — The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) issued the following statement regarding the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule governing wind and solar energy development on public lands:

“Unfortunately, based on our preliminary review, for this Administration and the majority of Americans who support expanding wind energy in the U.S., this final rule makes federal lands even less attractive to wind energy developers. This will add time, uncertainty, complexity, and expense to a process that was already more difficult than developing on private lands."

"The rule penalizes projects pursued outside of designated zones, yet there are no designated zones for wind energy and there may not be for years. This discriminatory treatment places wind energy at a competitive disadvantage to energy sources that have such areas designated and can avail themselves of the incentives to develop in these areas."

"This rule will only serve to further discourage wind development on public lands, contrary to BLM’s stated intent.” – Tom Vinson, Vice President of Federal Regulatory Affairs, AWEA.

While over 98 percent of wind farms have been developed on private land, wind energy development on U.S. public lands has significant potential. An estimated 20.6 million acres of public lands in 11 Western states have wind energy development potential, according to the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM). However, of the 4,740 MW of wind energy that BLM has authorized since 2009, less than 470MW has actually been built.

For a library of up-to-date library images of wind energy use this link http://www.awea.org/MediaCenter/content.aspx?ItemNumber=7244.

AWEA is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry, with over 900 member companies, including global leaders in wind power and energy development, wind turbine manufacturing, component and service suppliers, and the Western Hemisphere’s largest wind power trade show, the AWEA WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, which takes place next in Anaheim, California, May 22-26, 2017. AWEA is the voice of wind energy in the U.S., promoting renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger America. Look up information on wind energy at the AWEA website. Find insight on industry issues at AWEA's blog Into the Wind. Join AWEA on Facebook. Follow AWEA on Twitter.