- BLM has raised $105.15 million in what it touts as the highest-yielding onshore renewable energy auction in its history
- NV Energy, NextEra Energy Resources and Leeward Renewable Energy emerged as the highest bidders for the land parcels to be leased by BLM
- Proposals selected are expected to support around 3 GW of utility scale solar energy capacity
In a ‘record-breaking’ auction for solar energy development in the US, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has raised $105.15 million from auctioning 23,675 acres of land in Amargosa Desert, Nevada to support close to 3 GW utility scale solar energy capacity.
Nevada based electricity utility NV Energy, placed high bid of $35.25 million for 3,775 acres under Parcel A, and $46.6 million for 3,451 acres under Parcel B.
Another high bidder was the wholly owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, Boulevard Associates that placed the bid of $21 million for $10,129 acre parcel. A subsidiary of Leeward Renewable Energy, Silver Star Solar I offered $2.3 million for 6,320 parcel.
The US Department of the Interior, under whose jurisdiction BLM operates, called it the highest-yielding onshore renewable energy auction in the agency’s history.
“This record-breaking auction for solar energy development is further evidence that the demand for clean energy has never been greater. The technological advances, increased interest, cost effectiveness, and tremendous economic potential make these projects a reliable path for diversifying our nation’s energy portfolio,” said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.
The successful auction follows BLM’s proposal to the department to bring down the project fee for wind and solar energy facilities on public lands by up to 80% with an aim to provide certainty to private companies, without going through a complete auction (see Easing Renewable Energy Development In USA).
BLM is currently processing 74 utility scale onshore clean energy projects proposed for public lands in the Western US, including solar, wind, geothermal and interconnected power generation lines. These represent more than 37 GW of renewable energy capacity, while the government target is to permit 25 GW of solar, wind and geothermal capacity on public lands till 2025.