The Department of Interior published July 24, in partnership with the Department of Energy, the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States – Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. The final impact statement represents a significant step forward in the permitting of utility-scale solar energy on western public lands, specifically Bureau of Land Management lands. The impact statement serves as a roadmap for solar energy development by establishing 17 Solar Energy Zones, totaling 285,000 acres of public lands, which have access to existing or planned transmission and minimal resource conflicts and incentives for development within those zones. The blueprint also allows for utility-scale solar development on 19 million acres in variance areas lying outside of the identified zones, and excludes 78 million acres from development to protect cultural or natural resources. The statement estimates that 23,700 MW could be developed from the 17 zones and variance areas by 2030.