The Interior Bureau of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) held an auction this week for a utility-scale solar development in Nevada, resulting in $105.15 million in high bids. The auction of four 23,675-acre parcels in the Amargosa Desert could provide nearly 3 GW of renewable energy to the grid. It is the highest-grossing onshore renewable energy auction in the agency’s history.
“This record auction for solar development is further evidence that the demand for clean energy has never been greater. Technological progress, growing interest, cost-effectiveness and huge economic potential make these projects a reliable way to diversify our country’s energy portfolio,” said B. Deb Haaland.
“This auction is an important next step toward responsible renewable energy development in this high-interest area,” said Laura Daniel-Davis, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management. “We will continue to work closely with our community partners and tribal governments as we receive proposals to develop successfully awarded parcels.”
The successful auction underscores the importance of BLM’s work to identify areas with high solar potential and low resource conflict to guide responsible solar development, expedite permitting and provide confidence to developers. The Amargosa Valley Solar Energy Zone was one of 17 that the BLM originally identified in a 2012 project to develop solar energy in six Western states. The BLM is currently updating this plan, considering adding more states and identifying new or expanded areas to promote responsible solar development.
The BLM also recently announced a proposed update to its renewable energy regulations to facilitate solar energy development on public lands, including reducing project fees by about 80%, facilitating development in priority areas, streamlining application reviews, and providing greater certainty. for the private sector.
The auction resulted in the identification of provisional lease winners for both parcels and preferred bidders for both parcels. NV Energy has submitted high bids for two leases up for auction in the Amargosa Valley Solar Energy Zone. Parcel A includes 3,775 acres with a high price of $35.25 million and Parcel B includes 3,451 acres with a high price of $46.6 million.
Provisional preferred bidders were identified for two parcels auctioned outside the solar energy zone. Boulevard Associates, a wholly owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, has submitted a $21 million solar development proposal for 10,129 acres (Parcel 1) and Silver Star Solar I, Leeward For the right to be a subsidiary of Renewable Energy. , submitted a high bid of $2.3 million to submit a proposal for a solar energy development on 6,320 acres of land (Parcel 2). For these parcels outside designated solar energy zones, bidders must also submit a right-of-way application within 30 days of the auction and a Development Plan within 60 days. The BLM will then conduct project-specific reviews to verify compatibility with existing laws and policies before approving the project for further development.
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