Bureau of Land Management in Arizona to competitively offer solar energy zone leases
PHOENIX — The Bureau of Land Management today announced it is conducting an auction for utility-scale solar energy development leases in each of the three solar energy zones (SEZs) in Arizona.
SEZs are areas of public land designated for competitive leasing for utility-scale solar energy development. In Arizona, three SEZs have been designated: the 2,618-acre Gillespie SEZ, southwest of Phoenix; 3,348-acre Brenda, near Lake Havasu City; and 2,560-acre Agua Caliente, east of Yuma. These lands were proposed, and ultimately selected, for solar energy development because of low conflict with natural and cultural resources, and low potential for conflicts with other land uses. The BLM Arizona State Office has received interest from potential developers to lease lands within each SEZ.
Following the auction, BLM will award leases to winning bidders or make the lands available for application for a non-competitive grant.
“This Notice of Competitive Offering represents a proactive effort by the BLM to implement responsible renewable energy policy,” said Ray Suazo, BLM Arizona State Director. “The auction will contribute to the target of permitting 25 gigawatts of renewable energy on public lands by 2025, per the Energy Act of 2020.”
This notice furthers the Administration’s goals of promoting responsible renewable energy generation on public land (Executive Order 14008). Full development of all SEZs in Arizona would produce approximately 825 MW of solar energy.
The SEZs were previously analyzed and designated in the BLM’s Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (2012) and Renewable Arizona: Restoration Design Energy Project (2013). These efforts were the product of extensive stakeholder involvement, including conservation organizations, state and local governments, Tribes, solar energy industry representatives, and cooperating Federal agencies. If any or all of the SEZs receive bids, the BLM will immediately grant leases and conduct environmental reviews of site-specific development proposed by the successful bidders prior to development.
Additional information on the lease can be found at: https://go.usa.gov/xMXRG
PUBLIC VIEWING LINK: BLM-AZ SEZ Competitive Offer Live Event 12/8 10 a.m. MST
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.