Tuesday, May 5, 2009 | 4:24 p.m.
WASHINGTON — Facing down the backlog of renewable energy project applications, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced today he will be creating a permitting office in Nevada to speed green power development on federal lands.
The Nevada renewable energy permitting office will be among four offices opening in the West, in Arizona, California and Wyoming. The Interior Department will also launch permitting teams in other states.
Interior was already beefing up its Nevada operation to handle the onslaught of developer interest, with four new staffers devoted to renewable energy applications, the reported Sun in March. The Southern Nevada BLM office had 55 solar applications under review as of January.
The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management has a backlog of green energy projects. The department estimates 200 solar energy applications and more than 25 wind project applications in western states are waiting action.
The Interior Department could not immediately say when the Nevada office would open or where it would be located.