Project Merit: Renewable Development

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EMPSi (San Francisco) for developing the Restoration Design Energy Plan for the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and cooperating state agencies in Arizona. This $1.4 million multi-year contract will help Arizona achieve its goal of sourcing 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. The plan will be a roadmap for renewable energy development on federal lands in Arizona with a focus on areas that are already disturbed or that have few environmental constraints. The aim is to foster environmentally responsible projects and allow permitting to proceed efficiently by allocating specific sites for renewable energy. The BLM manages 12.2 million acres of land in Arizona but the planning area includes the entire state.

The project will identify disturbed or previously utilized lands in Arizona that, after remediation or site preparation, may be suitable for renewable energy development or generation. BLM Arizona and members of the public have identified 59 potential sites on federal, state, municipal, and private lands including gravel pits, mine sites, landfills, isolated parcels that have been disturbed and abandoned unauthorized airstrips. EMPSi is examining these lands for potential reclamation and use for energy generation. Funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the draft plan will be released in 2011.