The Bureau of Land Management released today the final strategy for monitoring the impacts of solar energy development in eastern Riverside County. Public comments from the October draft strategy were considered into this final strategy which is part of the implementation of the Western Solar Plan.
The Riverside East Long Term Monitoring Strategy will help the BLM understand solar energy development's broad-scale effects on resources such as vegetation, hydrology, and air quality. The information generated through the strategy will help the BLM permit future solar energy projects.
The Riverside East Solar Energy Zone, in eastern Riverside County, was designated as a priority area for utility scale solar energy development in the BLM's 2012 Western Solar Plan. The area has already seen four utility-scale solar energy projects approved since 2010.
Through the Western Solar Plan, the BLM committed to preparing monitoring and adaptive management strategies for solar energy zones to better understand the impacts of solar development on public lands. The Riverside East project has been under development since 2013, with significant public input. The BLM has hosted a public workshop and two public webinars in developing the strategy.