CBI is providing the science and mapping for a collaborative effort led by the Washington State University Energy Program to identify least-conflict locations for solar energy development on the Columbia Plateau.

The Columbia Plateau in eastern Washington supports productive farmland and rangeland as well as native shrub-steppe habitat of which only 40% remains intact. The region also contains some of the most sought after land in the state for utility scale solar energy development, which is an important component of its future energy portfolio that strives to produce 80% of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and 100% carbon-free by 2040. 

CBI has been chosen by the Washington State University Energy Program to provide the science and mapping component in support of a voluntary, collaborative effort that brings stakeholders together in order to identify areas of least-conflict between solar energy development and other important ecological, economic, and social values in order to meet the state’s carbon-free energy goals. CBI’s contribution to this process is based on the successful pilot to this approach in the San Joaquin Valley in California. The project will include a new Data Basin gateway, which is a customized site for accessing the science and mapping resources for this project.

See the recent brochure published by Washington State University for more information.

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