Biden government advances Nevada's two energy information tasks

May 30, 2023: This week, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management stated that it had advanced two transmission projects proposed by public utility NV Energy that would facilitate more renewable energy development and delivery in Nevada.

The agency will start an environmental review for the Greenlink North project, which will span over 450 miles to connect Las Vegas to Reno, and release a draft environmental impact statement for the Greenlink West transmission project, covering 232 miles from Ely to Yerington.

Once completed, the projects will connect eight gigawatts of clean energy to the Western power grid. The plans would bolster the Biden administration’s goal of deploying 25 gigawatts of renewable energy on public lands and waters by 2025 and achieving a carbon-free power sector by 2035.

The announcement comes as Congress debates federal energy permitting overhauls, with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., introducing a measure earlier this month to speed up allowing fossil fuel and renewable energy projects.

Transmission projects involve expanding high-voltage lines that transport renewable energy to populated areas and will play a critical role in moving forward the clean energy transition while meeting growing power demand.

The BLM aims to finalize proposed documents and develop a record of decisions for the Greenlink West project by late 2024. It will also release draft environmental planning documents for the Greenlink North project for public comment later this year.

“Our public lands have a critical role to play in the clean energy transition,” BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning said in a statement.

The agency said it had approved 35 clean energy projects over the previous years, including solar, geothermal, and gen-tie installations, which are anticipated to generate 8,160 megawatts of electricity or enough to power over 2.6 million homes.

Some projects include the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project in New Mexico and construction approval for California’s Sunlight Storage II Battery Storage System. The agency reviews projects like Utah’s Star Range Solar Project and Nevada’s Bonanza Solar Project.

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