DOE proposes relaxing environmental reviews for certain energy storage, solar and transmission projects

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The Department of Energy is proposing to ease environmental reviews for certain energy storage, solar power, and reconstructed or upgraded transmission projects on federal lands.

These types of projects would be subject to a “categorical exclusion” given their limited environmental impact. under the proposal It was published in the Federal Register on Thursday.

According to the notice, DOE proposed new category exclusions for certain energy storage projects and proposed modified category exclusions for transmission line and solar projects.

Under the proposal, eligible projects would not require an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

Battery and flywheel energy storage systems are subject to a simplified review process if they are built on or next to already degraded land.

DOE also proposed eliminating the 20-mile limit on the length of existing power lines that are subject to the simplest form of environmental review. According to the ministry, the proposal would give developers the option of relocating power lines within land that has already been allocated or developed for power lines, and upgrades or reconstruction of power lines would require local It will be mandatory to incorporate best practices to protect the environment.

For solar power, DOE proposed changing the current categorical exemption by eliminating the 10-acre limit for solar power projects on already developed land.

Direct benefits of the proposal include reducing the cost and time of environmental analysis by the Department of Energy, project proponents and the public, the department said. Indirect benefits include improved grid reliability and resiliency and increased carbon-free power generation.

Comments on the proposal are due by January 2nd.

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