The Permitting Council has determined that the Bonanza Solar Project is a FAST-41 covered project, effective August 13. The Bonanza project is a solar energy generating facility proposed to deliver up to 600MW of clean, renewable energy a year — enough to power approximately 90,000 homes. Renewable energy production is a key solution outlined in President Biden’s executive order to combat the climate crisis with a government-wide approach that delivers equity, well-paying union jobs, and economic growth through innovation, commercialization, and clean energy technologies, and infrastructure deployment. The administration has set a policy to achieve net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050; increase renewable energy production on public lands and in offshore waters, and facilitate a carbon pollution-free electricity sector no later than 2035.
As a FAST-41 covered project, the Bonanza project will benefit from state-of-the-art Federal project review and permitting process reforms for large-scale infrastructure projects, transparent permitting timetable development and execution, and enhanced interagency coordination.
About the Permitting Council and FAST-41
In 2015, Title 41 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST-41) created the Permitting Council to improve the Federal permitting process's timeliness, predictability, and transparency for large, complex infrastructure projects. Comprised of an Executive Director, 13 Federal agency council members, the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Permitting Council implements the FAST-41 process for covered projects from a dozen sectors through as many as 60 Federal reviews and authorizations.
The FAST-41 process is a voluntary program governed by statutory eligibility criteria and expressly does not alter any applicable statutory or regulatory requirement, environmental review process, or public involvement procedure. FAST-41 coverage also does not predetermine the outcome of any Federal decision-making process for any project. Instead, the Permitting Council achieves FAST-41 benefits by coordinating interagency efforts, eliminating needless duplication, and engaging Federal agencies and project sponsors to foster improved communication and clarify expectations.
The Permitting Council has recognized unprecedented success in achieving its statutory objectives, as documented in its Annual Reports to Congress. The Permitting Council's process management strategy; consensus-driven permitting timetables; and enhanced coordination between Federal agencies; state, local, and Tribal partners; and project sponsors; have saved covered project sponsors more than $1 billion in total costs and an average of two years in time savings for the National Environmental Policy Act process.
The Permitting Council's current active project portfolio includes 15 renewable energy production projects, three pipeline projects, two water resource projects, two conventional energy production projects, three electricity transmission projects, and one ports and waterways project—representing over $97 billion in economic investment and over 49,000 jobs. The Office of the Executive Director is committed to working with its member agencies to advance the administration's Build Back Better plan to maximize domestic investment and sustainable job creation by greening and modernizing America's critical infrastructure.