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6 Ways Interior Is Advancing America’s Energy Independence

doi logoThe Interior Department is known for protecting some of the most amazing landscapes across the U.S. An equally important part of Interior’s mission is supplying the energy necessary to power America.

Check out some facts about Interior’s role as an energy leader:

1. Interior’s energy history dates back over 100 years. Interior was established to handle domestic matters, and with the creation of the Bureau of Mines in 1910, Interior became responsible for mine safety and minerals technology. Over the years, Interior’s work in energy expanded, and in 1977 several of its functions were spun off to form a new cabinet agency: the Department of Energy.

Read more: 6 Ways Interior Is Advancing America’s Energy Independence

Navy and Energy Commission Agree to Partner on Renewable Energy Projects

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission and the Department of the Navy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today that will help the state and the Navy and Marine Corps continue to operate on the cutting edge of technology by pursuing innovative renewable energy initiatives.

Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller and Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment Dennis V. McGinn signed the agreement formalizing a partnership that supports Navy and Marine Corps installation efforts to develop alternative energy resources and increase energy security and reliability. The MOU ensures continued collaboration and information sharing on energy projects and initiatives.

Read more: Navy and Energy Commission Agree to Partner on Renewable Energy Projects

The Future of Hydropower in the Pacific Northwest

The Future of Hydropower in the Pacific Northwest: Challenges and Opportunities

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently released a report detailing a vision for increasing the nation’s hydropower capacity by 50% by 2050. Despite a variety of technical, environmental, and market challenges to be overcome, the report concludes that there remain significant opportunities for future hydropower development in the United States. Those opportunities come particularly through upgrades to existing hydropower facilities, adding power generation capacity to existing dams and canals, and development of new pumped storage capacity. In the Pacific Northwest, the nation’s hydropower leader, the potential for new hydro development in undammed stream reaches is limited largely due to environmental constraints associated with fish habitat protections. However, there are still significant regional opportunities to optimize the use of existing infrastructure to increase hydropower capacity. In particular, through development of in-conduit hydropower and pumped storage hydropower facilities, the region could reap benefits ranging from increased grid reliability, improved ability to incorporate intermittent renewable power sources like wind energy, and reduced carbon emissions.

Read more: The Future of Hydropower in the Pacific Northwest

BLM Releases Solar Energy Monitoring Strategy

BLM logoThe 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.

Read more: BLM Releases Solar Energy Monitoring Strategy

NREL Report Firms Up Land-Use Requirements of Solar

Study shows solar for 1,000 homes would require 32 acres

July 30, 2013 - The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has published a report on the land use requirements of solar power plants based on actual land-use practices from existing solar facilities.

“Having real data from a majority of the solar plants in the United States will help people make proper comparisons and informed decisions,” lead author Sean Ong said. The report, “Land-use Requirements for Solar Power Plants in the United States,”PDF was written with NREL colleagues Clinton Campbell, Robert Margolis, Paul Denholm and Garvin Heath.

Read more: NREL Report Firms Up Land-Use Requirements of Solar

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