The Bureau of Land Management solicits interest in solar development on public lands

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today announced that it is seeking interest in large-scale solar energy development on nearly 90,000 acres of public lands located in Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. Today’s solicitation is the agency’s largest for interest in solar development as it has designated 17 solar energy zones as part of a comprehensive solar energy planning effort. in 2012.

“Scaling up support for responsible renewable energy generation is a top priority for the BLM as we work across the Home Office to pave the way for creating an economy of clean energy in the United States,” BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning said. “Today’s demand for interest in these solar energy areas is an opportunity to expand opportunities for the industry as we strive to do our part to meet America’s energy needs.”

To date, the BLM has assigned approximately 870,000 acres of federal public lands as environmentally preferable for solar leasing based on the areas high solar energy potential, suitability of large-scale solar installations, and limited potential for natural and cultural resource conflicts. Solar energy areas were previously analyzed and designated in the BLM’s 2012 Western Solar Plan, which was the product of broad stakeholder involvement, including conservation organizations, state and local governments, tribal nations , representatives of the solar energy industry and cooperating federal agencies.

Specific areas identified in this RFP include: in Colorado – Southeastern Antonito Solar Power Area (9,712 acres), DeTilla Gulch Solar Power Area (1,064 acres) and the Los Mogotes East Solar Energy Area (2,650 acres); in Nevada – Dry Lake Valley North Solar Power Area (25,069 acres), Gold Point Solar Power Area (4,596 acres) and Millers Solar Power Area (16,534 acres); and in New Mexico – Afton Solar Energy Zone (29,964 acres).

This effort builds on BLM’s successful competitive offerings in recent months. In November, the BLM awarded three competitive solar leases on 4,800 acres in the Milford Flats Solar Power Area. The agency also expects it to finalize the competitive solar lease for 8,500 acres in the Gillespie, Brenda and Agua Caliente solar power areas in Arizona before the end of December.

Additional information on the lease is available at: http://ow.ly/F11H50HfQsI.