Skip to main content

Large-Scale Solar Siting: Encouraging Ecosystem Enhancement and Conservation While Producing Much Needed Zero-Carbon Electricity


With passage of the landmark Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the first significant step toward addressing climate change through federal statute, Congress has taken a major step forward. Through tax policy, Congress locked down long-term incentives for renewable energy projects and storage projects and put new policies in place to encourage U.S. production of the materials used in those projects at fair wages.

These changes will accelerate the clean energy revolution that is already underway and incentivize the installation of renewable energy projects to help achieve 2030 and longer-term decarbonization goals. Although these policy changes are welcome and needed, many other barriers to reaching federal and state decarbonization goals remain. One such area is large-scale project siting.

As electricity production moves away from central station, fossil fuel-fired power plants, and toward more spread-out clean energy projects that occupy more land, questions around where to put projects have come to the forefront. Siting large-scale projects also raises questions about changing land use patterns, the environmental impact of large-scale solar projects, as well as their impacts on the host community.

This new Solar and Storage Industries Institute policy brief proposes a siting framework for large-scale solar projects which will produce much needed zero-carbon electricity and can serve important ecosystem enhancement and conservation roles. This paper argues that large-scale solar projects should be designed and operated to maximize preservation of our natural capital and ecosystems and sited to minimize negative impacts on land.

Resource Type

Related Resources

Thursday, Sep 08, 2022

Solar Market Insight Report 2022 Q3

The quarterly SEIA/Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables U.S. Solar Market Insight report shows the major trends in the U.S. solar industry. Learn more about the U.S. Solar Market Insight Report. Released September 8, 2022.

Read More
Thursday, Sep 01, 2022

EIA Response to SI2 and SEIA Comments on Data Collection

In July, the Solar and Storage Industries Institute (SI2), and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), made the case that the Energy Information Administration (EIA) should be collecting more data on a variety of issues, including: utility interconnection queues, interconnection costs, the state of the solar supply chain and solar manufacturing, and more information on electric grid ope

Read More
Wednesday, Aug 31, 2022

SEIA Testimony on Colorado Renewable Energy Plan

SEIA filed an additional round of testimony in the Colorado Renewable Energy Plan case focused on distributed generation resources. SEIA and the Colorado Storage and Solar Association responded to other parties’ initial testimony, reiterating our positions to increase solar plus storage while supporting a robust commercial onsite program and expanding community solar.

Read More