This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

April 23, 2014

BLM Seeks Public Input about Solar Energy Development on Nevada Site

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on April 14 announced that it is accepting preliminary right-of-way applications and expressions of interest from interested parties for conducting a competitive auction on the 5,717–acre Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone in Clark County, Nevada. This public notification is the first step toward possible competitive solar energy development on public lands in the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone. Once the 30-day notice period closes, the BLM will review all submissions from interested parties to see if other companies express interest in developing solar energy in these areas. If the BLM determines that sufficient competition exists, it may use a competitive bidding process, consistent with its regulations, to select a preferred applicant for pursuing energy projects in the Solar Energy Zone.

The BLM's current action builds on the Western Solar Energy Plan, a two-year planning effort conducted on behalf of the Interior and Energy Departments to expand domestic energy production and spur development of solar energy on public lands in six western states. The Western Solar Energy Plan provides a blueprint for utility-scale solar energy permitting in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah by establishing Solar Energy Zones with access to existing or planned transmission, incentives for development within those Solar Energy Zones, and a process through which to consider additional Solar Energy Zones and solar projects. See the BLM news release.