Policies Affecting Renewable Energy Generation on State Trust Lands in the Intermountain West
State trust lands could play an important role in the growing market for renewable energy. These lands, covering 35 million acres in the Intermountain West, were granted to the states at the time of statehood by Congress to support public education and other public institutions. In each state, state trust land managers search for a variety of innovative and sustainable ways to generate income from these lands in order to support their beneficiaries.
All of the states in the Intermountain West have pursued renewable energy projects on trust lands to some degree, although none have met their full potential in the renewable energy sector. This report discusses federal and state-level policies affecting renewable energy generation on state trust lands, with a focus on state-level renewable portfolio standards and tax incentives. These policies encourage large-scale renewable energy development by driving market demand and making projects more economically feasible.