Salazar reports renewable energy on public land progressing

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar reported this week the Obama administration’s renewable energy program has authorized dozens of renewable energy projects on public lands and will hold the first-ever auctions for commercial wind development in the Atlantic Ocean this year.

Speaking at the Offshore Wind Power USA conference, Salazar said renewable energy development has been elevated to a departmental priority and the Interior Department has worked to approve 34 projects on public lands in western states and build an offshore regulatory framework in the Atlantic. Salazar said the department has approved 18 utility-scale solar facilities, seven commercial wind farms and nine geothermal power plants that will provide 10,400 MW of power when built.

Salazar also said the department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will propose additional commercial lease sales this year for wind energy areas offshore New Jersey, Maryland and Massachusetts. The bureau is also working to determine industry interest in three areas off of North Carolina.

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