U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Solar Energy Technologies Program – News

DOI Establishes Renewable Energy Evaluation Area in California

August 21, 2013

The U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) on August 13 announced that it has approved the establishment of the West Chocolate Mountains Renewable Energy Evaluation Area (REEA) on public lands in California’s Imperial Valley. This REEA will prioritize the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands for the exploration and development of solar and geothermal energy. The BLM estimates that the 64,058-acre area has the potential to develop over 3,330 megawatts of solar power and 150 megawatts of geothermal power. The REEA creates a new Solar Energy Zone, which is part of the Obama Administration's efforts to facilitate solar energy development by identifying areas in six Western states with high solar potential, few resource conflicts, and access to existing or planned transmission.

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon pollution, move toward clean energy sources, and slow the effects of climate change, the Interior Department is working to approve 20,000 megawatts of renewable energy production on public lands by 2020. See the DOI press release.