BLM announces geothermal lease sale on October 5
RENO, Nev. – As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to permit 25 GW of renewable energy on public lands by 2025 and to achieve 100 percent carbon pollution-free energy by 2035, the Bureau of Land Management will hold a virtual competitive geothermal lease sale on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. The agency will offer 32 parcels for leases totaling 83,543.690 acres in Churchill, Esmeralda, Elko, Lander, Lyon, Mineral, Pershing and White Pine counties Nevada.
The lease sale will be held online at www.energynet.com, and the open bidding period will begin at 9 a.m. Central Standard Time (CST) or 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST). Each parcel will have its own unique open bidding period, with start and stop times clearly identified on the auction website. The open bidding period for each parcel will run for one hour from start to finish, and bids will only be accepted during a parcel’s open bidding period. Parcels may be viewed online at EnergyNet for approximately 10 business days from this notice.
The BLM works hard, and in coordination with experts, to expand development of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal where appropriate on public lands. Additionally, the bureau’s goal is to ensure that its energy portfolio serves the public interest and helps restore balance on America’s public lands for the benefit current and future generations.
Responsible energy development includes consideration of parcels nominated for leasing as well as potential resource impacts for each parcel. Additional environmental review will take place during processing of an Application for Permit to Drill, when site-specific Conditions of Approval will be placed on the permit in addition to the stipulations already attached to the lease at the time of sale.
The sale results will be posted on EnergyNet’s website and the BLM Nevada State Office’s website https://www.blm.gov/programs/energy-and-minerals/renewable-energy/geothermal-energy/regional-information/nevada. Paper copies are available for purchase at the BLM Nevada State Office Information Access Center. The next geothermal lease sale is tentatively scheduled for Fall of 2022.
This lease sale represents parcels that cleared environmental review and public comment. The BLM issues both competitive and non-competitive leases for a 10-year period. The leases are a contract to explore and develop any potential geothermal resource. The leases may earn an extension if the lessee establishes production or provides proof of diligent exploration, otherwise they pay annual rentals.
Nevada BLM administers the most active Geothermal Program in the nation with 272 active leases totaling over half a million acres, with twenty operating geothermal power plants with federal interest, for a total generating capability of nearly 650 MW and additional geothermal projects in the exploration, development and construction phases are expected to greatly increase that capacity soon.
Geothermal leases are for an initial 10-year period with 50 percent of the funds disbursed to the state, 25 percent is disbursed to the respective county, and 25 percent remaining in the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The BLM manages public lands for many uses, including sustainable energy development. The leased parcels undergo a detailed environmental analysis that includes three opportunities for involvement: scoping, public comment, and protest periods. In addition, each lease, if issued, contains standard stipulations to protect endangered species and cultural resources and ensures that development is safe and environmentally responsible. After parcels are leased, lessees must submit site-specific proposals for additional in-depth analysis before energy development can begin. BLM Nevada partners with the Nevada Division of Minerals, Tribal governments, and private industry to develop other geothermal resources.
This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.