Bureau of Land Management offers over 4,800 for solar energy development in Utah

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A rooftop is covered with solar panels at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, in New York. ConEdison Solutions installed 3,152 solar panels on the roof of Building 293 in 2016. The new panels will generate 1.1 million kilowatt hours of energy per year, according to the mayor’s office. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provided more than $600,000 in incentives for the project. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

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On Thursday, September 9, the Bureau of Land Management’s Cedar City Field Office began a 60-day bidding period to lease more than 4,800 acres in the Milford Flats South Solar Energy Zone, in Beaver County, Utah, with the potential to generate power for 100,000 homes and create more than 200 jobs.

The efficient deployment of renewable energy from our nation’s public lands is crucial in achieving the Biden Administration’s goal of a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035, as well as Congress’ direction in the Energy Act of 2020 (P.L. 116-260) to permit 25 gigawatts of solar, wind, and geothermal production on public lands no later than 2025. The BLM manages vast stretches of public lands that have the potential to make significant contributions to the nation’s renewable energy portfolio.

“The BLM designated the Milford Flats South Solar Energy Zone to maximize the ability for solar energy production, while minimizing conflicts and impacts to resources,” said Color Country District Manager Gloria Tibbetts. “The BLM has prioritized the responsible development of renewable energy in the Cedar City Field Office, which already manages lands that generate energy in the forms of wind and geothermal power.”

“We started down the path to the development of leasing solar energy zones many years ago, and we are pleased to offer leases to develop renewable energy resources and help Beaver County build upon its reputation as Utah’s renewable energy capital,” said Cedar City Field Manager Paul Briggs. “We are working closely with our community partners and Tribal governments to ensure that any leased parcels are developed responsibly.”

If the parcels being offered are leased and fully developed, the BLM anticipates that the solar energy facilities would provide approximately 200 construction jobs and 15 operations positions with more than $10 million in total salaries. The area has an estimated potential for projects that could generate over 600 megawatts of electricity, providing power to approximately 100,000 homes.

Publication of the Notice of Competitive Offer in the Federal Register officially begins the sealed bidding period to lease the three parcels of land, which will close at 10 a.m. MST on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. The BLM will use bids received by 10 a.m. on Nov. 9, 2021, to conduct the lease offer.

An Invitation for Bids and Bidding Instructions for those desiring to submit bids can be found at: https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/97506. Parcel maps and other supplemental information can also be found at the ePlanning website.

For additional information, please contact Brooklynn Cox at (435) 865-3073 or bcox@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question for the above individual. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.

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