Laws and Regulations

Applications for solar energy projects will be processed and authorized as rights-of-way under Title V of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and Title 43, Part 2800, of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Utility-scale solar power or photovoltaic electric generating facilities must comply with the BLM’s planning, environmental, and right-of-way application requirements.

On January 18, 2017, the BLM enacted the Solar and Wind Energy Rule. This rule amended Title V of FLPMA and the BLM’s rights-of-way under FLPMA and 43 CFR, Part 2800 to update the BLM’s rate and fee structure for new solar and wind development and testing. This was done to ensure that these rates and fees reflect current market conditions. The Rule also provides flexibility to operators, develops a competitive bidding process, and encourages development in designated leasing areas (DLAs) that are most amenable to high generation with low resource conflicts.