The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is evaluating wind energy development potential and possible sensitivities with other resources on public lands across 11 western states. The West-Wide Wind Mapping Project maps wind energy resources on the public lands and identifies existing land use exclusions and other potential resource sensitivities that may affect wind energy development opportunities. The project has mapped the following areas:
Regional and state wind energy development exclusions and resource sensitivities maps and associated geospatial data developed as part of the West-Wide Wind Mapping Project are available on the Maps and Data page. These maps depict areas on BLM-administered lands excluded from wind energy development, as well as areas with potentially developable wind energy resources where proposed wind energy projects would be expected to have a high level of siting considerations, a moderate level of siting considerations, or where there are no known environmental resources or land use restrictions that are likely to require more extensive consideration in siting reviews. Learn More »
The Wind Energy Environmental Mapper is an interactive web-based application that displays wind energy resources and relevant environmental data for the western U.S.
The West-Wide Wind Mapping Project Report (PDF) provides a detailed description of the purpose, tasks, products, and results of the West-Wide Wind Mapping Project.
The BLM Wind Energy Program specifies which BLM-administered lands are potentially available for wind energy development and which are excluded from wind energy development for various reasons. BLM's 2005 Wind Energy Development Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Wind PEIS) and the associated Record of Decision identified BLM-administered lands in eleven western states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming) that would be excluded from wind development. Since 2005, numerous land use plan revisions and amendments have changed the boundaries of the excluded lands. BLM policy has also changed with respect to certain exclusions. As a result, maps of wind energy development exclusions prepared as part the Wind PEIS are no longer accurate.
Through subsequent state-level efforts, the BLM has identified additional BLM-administered lands that may be suitable for wind energy development, but because of environmental and other sensitivities, proposed wind energy development projects on these lands are anticipated to have more extensive siting considerations. These evaluations have not been incorporated into any national level maps, nor assessed at the national level for consistency in approach. In this project, lands with wind speeds of 5 meters per second or greater are considered to be potentially developable.
The West-Wide Wind Mapping Project identified and mapped BLM-administered lands in the eleven western states that would currently be excluded from wind development on the basis of decisions made in the Wind PEIS and subsequent policy and land use plan amendments. The project further identified additional BLM-administered lands with potentially developable wind resources where the presence of certain environmental resources or land use restrictions may require relatively more extensive levels of review of proposed wind energy projects. These lands are described and mapped as lands having a high level of siting considerations (HLSC), and lands having a moderate level of siting considerations (MLSC).
HLSC lands are BLM-administered lands where the presence of certain environmental resources or land use restrictions is likely to require greater consideration of potential impacts to resources and existing uses when the BLM, other federal or state agencies, or stakeholders conduct siting reviews. MLSC lands are BLM-administered lands where the presence of certain environmental resources or land use restrictions are likely to require a moderate consideration of potential impacts to resources and existing uses in siting reviews. Other BLM-administered lands with potentially developable wind resources do not have known environmental resources or land use restrictions that are likely to require more extensive consideration in siting reviews.
See the West-Wide Wind Mapping Project Report (PDF) for detailed information about the project. The maps and geospatial data available through the Maps and Data page and the Wind Mapper geospatial data viewer will be updated periodically.
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