Energy developers are considering building dozens of wind farms and solar power plants in Arizona to meet the growing demand in that state, as well as in California, for renewable energy.
Due to the potential for conflicts with military testing and training, projects need to be reviewed by DOD, a process made easier last year when the department created the Energy Siting Clearinghouse. The office’s goal is to preserve military operations while supporting the development of renewable energy sources.
Last year, the clearinghouse approved eight renewable energy projects in Arizona, with none raising objections, reported the Arizona Republic. Contacting DOD is a critical first step in considering a new project, according to an official with one developer.
“The issue I’ve found is that the military has been out in these open spaces for a long time, and they are used to having all that space to themselves,” said Andrew Wang, director of development for SolarReserve. “They are not against renewable energy, but [they believe] maybe on a project-by-project basis it needs to be evaluated.”