BLM Seeks Public Input on Proposed Guidance for Renewable Energy on BLM Public Lands

WASHINGTON, D.C. ­– The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public input on draft guidance to promote the use of wind and solar energy on public lands. The proposed update would reduce acreage rental rates and capacity fees for existing and new wind and solar energy authorizations on public lands. Once finalized, the updated guidance will provide enhanced financial and regulatory predictability for solar and wind energy projects authorized on public lands.

“This draft guidance will help us drive an environmentally and economically sound strategy in the development of renewable energy resources on public lands.” said BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning. “We are doing our part to meet America’s energy needs by promoting predictable and favorable conditions for the market.”

Implementing this guidance supports the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035, as well as Congress’s direction to permit 25 gigawatts of renewable energy production on public lands no later than 2025. The draft guidance is designed to implement the authority in the Energy Act of 2020 while the Department of the Interior undertakes the process of revising the 2016 solar and wind energy regulations.

Once an appropriate rate and method to reduce rental rates or capacity fees is determined, the BLM will finalize and implement the new guidance through the Manual of Rent for Rights of Way, Section 2806.60. The BLM has paused annual billing for wind and solar authorizations until this policy is finalized.

The public is encouraged to concentrate its review and comment on the BLM’s proposed reductions to rent and fee rates under the Energy Act of 2020 provisions. The draft manual can be found at https://on.doi.gov/3DoYe22. Comments should be submitted no later than February 2, 2022 to energy@blm.gov with the subject: Comments on Draft update to BLM 2800 Right-of-Way Manual.

 

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The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

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