U.S. Department Of Interior Completes Phase I Of The DRECP To Help Streamline Renewable Energy Projects Throughout California Deserts

December 8, 2016

On September 14, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) signed a Record of Decision completing Phase I of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), which allows for the streamlining of renewable energy projects on 10.8 million acres of public lands located within California deserts.

Phase I of the DRECP, which has been the subject of eight years of collaborative planning efforts by the California Energy Commission, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is expected to play a major role in California’s pursuit of ambitious climate change and renewable energy goals, and is also a component of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.

The types of projects compatible with the DRECP include solar, geothermal, utility-scale photovoltaic, and wind, among others, in addition to the related infrastructure such as transmission lines.  Once all phases of the DRECP are completed, it has the potential to generate up to 27,000 megawatts of renewable energy, which is enough to power more than eight million homes.

By Martin P. Stratte