SEIA Statement on Interior Department Approval of Seventh Utility-scale Solar Project on U.S. Public Lands


Efficient process needed to continue developing America's world-class solar resources and creating domestic jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA®) president and CEO Rhone Resch today released the following statement after the U.S. Department of the Interior announced its "Record of Decision" for NextEra's Genesis Solar Project, the final of seven solar projects to be approved through the fast-track review process:

"The overwhelming majority of Americans that support development of solar energy can celebrate Thanksgiving early this year. Approving the first seven utility-scale solar projects on public lands is a major milestone for the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the U.S. solar industry. Not only will these projects generate enough clean solar energy to power more than 600,000 homes, they will create thousands of new construction jobs and hundreds of permanent plant operations jobs.

"To put this in perspective, over the previous 20 years, 74,000 permits were issued for oil and gas drilling on public lands, but none for solar energy development.

"These seven projects are a great first step for tapping into America's world-class solar resources and growing our clean energy economy. The fast-track process provides an excellent template for efficiently permitting future utility-scale solar power plants on public lands. We look forward to continuing our work with Secretary Salazar to maintain this momentum and to keep solar working for America."


Background Materials:

BLM Permitting Fact Sheet:

3 out of 4 Americans support utility-scale solar on public lands:

SEIA Major Solar Projects List:

Genesis Solar Project factsheet:

SEIA-GTM Research Solar Market Insight Report: Strong US Solar Industry Growth for First Half of 2010:

SCHOTT Solar Barometer: 94 Percent of Americans Support Solar Energy -

Solar Works for America Website –

Webisodes of cross-country tour of solar installations, manufacturing and interviews with workers and clients:

About SEIA®:
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA is working to build a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy.

SEIA Online:

SEIA President & CEO Rhone Resch is on Twitter. SEIA is on YouTube and Facebook.