Expanding Renewable Energy
The BLM is updating it Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. To comment, please visit ePlanning.
Significant portions of BLM public lands have excellent solar, wind and geothermal energy potential, and the BLM works to provide appropriate sites for environmentally sound development of renewable energy on public lands.
As of November 2021, permitted renewable energy projects on BLM-managed lands include 36 wind, 37 solar, and 48 geothermal projects with a total combined capacity of more than 12 gigawatts of power. Such deployment is crucial in achieving the Biden Administration’s goal of a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035, as well as Congress’s direction to permit 25 gigawatts of solar, wind, and geothermal energy production on public lands no later than 2025.
For more information on the BLM’s efforts to expand renewable energy use, visit our Renewable Energy Program pages below:
- Fiscal Year 2021 Renewable Energy Fact Sheet
- Fiscal Year 2021 Renewable Energy Report to Congress
- BLM's National Renewable Energy Strategy
- Active Renewable Energy Projects
- Solar Energy
- Wind Energy
- Geothermal Energy
- Laws and Regulations
BLM Resumes Billing for Wind and Solar Rents and Fees Using Reduced Rates
Updated June 1, 2022
The BLM has published reduced acreage rental rates and megawatt capacity fees in Chapter 6 of its Manual of Rent for Rights of Way to promote greater use of wind and solar energy resources on public lands. The reduced rates will lower financial barriers to clean energy investments while still collecting a reasonable return for the use of public lands and resources. The reduction will also provide improved rate predictability by publishing rates that can be used through 2050 for existing and new solar and wind energy projects authorized on public lands.
Typically, the BLM bills for rents and fees on January 1 for authorizations on public land. However, the BLM used its discretion under the regulations, including 43 C.F.R. 2806.12(d), to delay bills for solar and wind energy acreage rents and megawatt capacity fees until the agency finalized the new manual chapter. The BLM presented several reduction options in a draft manual section in late 2021 and gained valuable input from a 60-day public comment period.
The BLM is now resuming its billing for solar and wind using the newly published rates. Bills for acreage rents and megawatt fees will be recalculated for calendar year 2021 and forward. Any bills already paid for 2021 will be refunded or credited any difference.
For more information, see the following:
- Updated Rent Manual, Chapter 6
- Press Release: Department of the Interior Announces Steps to Increase Clean Energy Development on Public Lands