The Obama Administration has changed the way solar projects end up on federal land. The Interior Department used to issue permits on a case by case basis. The new plan allocates 285,000 acres of land for large solar projects.
The plan replaces the department’s previous first-come, first-served system of approving solar projects, which let developers choose where they wanted to build utility-scale solar sites and allowed for land speculation. The department no longer will decide projects on case-by-case basis as it had since 2005, when solar developers began filing applications.