Powering Strong Communities

Securing the Right Site: A Journey to Getting a Facility Off the Ground

There are many steps to finding and developing the right location for a utility facility – whether building a solar field, wind farm, or more traditional power plant. While each state has its own process, this map outlines the steps generally required to ensure the site will be a good fit – for the utility and the surrounding community. Community engagement happens at every stage of the planning process.


map with steps to siting outlined

  • Conduct early community engagement about planned project
  • Search for locations in proximity to existing assets (e.g., transmission lines, substations) and system need (e.g., new developments)
  • Check EPA’s site screening map for potential suitable federal land
  • Complete feasibility assessment
  • Review location status
    • Review land use regulations
    • Review area water rights
  • Evaluate federal, state, and local environmental requirements and regulations
  • Issue a request for proposals from developers for the project
  • Update community stakeholders on project progress
  • Complete initial environmental assessment for potential contamination
  • If contamination found:
    • Design cleanup plan
    • Carry out clean up in coordination with EPA/state agency
    • Establish any necessary ongoing monitoring and controls
  • Conduct in-depth site-specific assessment (for some renewable projects)
  • Gather input from community and local planning authorities
  • Develop project plans
  • Notify public of plans
  • Allow for public comment and review
  • Get final environmental impact statement (if applicable)
  • Final approval from all relevant local, state, and federal authorities
  • Begin construction