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Release Date: 06/10/10
Contacts: David Quick , 202-912-7413  
  Linda Resseguie , 202-912-7337  

BLM Announces Solar Energy Rental Rates

Link to Solar Energy Rental Schedule Instruction Memorandum

In support of the President’s energy strategy that calls for rapid development of renewable energy, particularly on U.S. public lands, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today released a rental schedule for solar energy right-of-way authorizations on the public lands. “Publishing this rental schedule moves our nation closer to creating a new energy frontier – one that relies more on renewable, clean energy sources,” BLM Director Bob Abbey said. “Today, we are providing the solar energy industry the level of certainty it needs about the costs associated with projects on the public lands and ensuring a fair return to American taxpayers for the use of their public lands.”

The BLM is required by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) to collect an annual rental payment for right-of-way authorizations on the public lands. FLPMA also requires that rents for these authorizations reflect the fair market value for the use of the public lands.

The solar rental schedule was developed based on review and analysis by the BLM, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Department of Energy of economic models comparing the effects various rental rates may have on different kinds of solar projects.

The solar rental schedule developed from this review and analysis includes a "Base Rent" for the acreage of public land included within the right-of-way authorization and a "Megawatt (MW) Capacity Fee" based on the MW-size of the project. 

The “Base Rent” will be paid upon the date of issuance of the right-of-way authorization and will be paid on a continuing annual basis during the term of the authorization. The “Base Rent” is a per-acre rental fee that varies from county to county, based on the different average rural land values for each county published by the National Agricultural Statistics Service ( 

The “MW Capacity Fee” will be paid on an annual basis upon the start of generation of electricity from a facility, based on the MW-size of that facility. No “MW Capacity Fee” will be due until a facility is in operation.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

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Last updated: 06-28-2010