Renewable Energy Development in the California Desert

Renewable Energy Rule

Delivering a clean energy economy

The Bureau of Land Management has updated its regulations to promote responsible development of solar and wind energy on public lands. The final Renewable Energy Rule reduces acreage rents and capacity fees, improves the BLM’s application process, and delivers greater predictability for how the BLM will administer future solar and wind project authorizations. These updates are consistent with the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to increase deployment of clean energy on public lands and the national goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035. 

The Energy Act of 2020 authorized the BLM to reduce acreage rents and capacity fees to promote wind and solar development, which the BLM initially implemented through guidance in 2022. The final rule codifies further reductions in acreage rents and reduces capacity fees by 80%, in comparison to the rates under the 2016 rule, through 2035 and then transitions to a 20% reduction for 2038 and beyond – improving financial predictability for developers pursuing long-term projects on public land.  
The Renewable Energy Rule also continues the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to American manufacturing and good-paying, family-supporting jobs, by establishing incentives for renewable energy projects developed with American-made parts and materials or constructed using union labor.  

The BLM conducted extensive scoping for its June 16, 2023 proposed renewable energy rule, followed by a 60-day public comment period, which included three public meetings. The agency received over 600 comments on the proposed rule. The final rule has been informed by those comments. 

The rule will go into effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register