Bureau of Land Management Solar Energy Permitting and Program Resources
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Major milestone BLM-initiated action Bidder/leasee-initiated action Due diligence Assignments Bonding Applicable fees Finalize plan of development Conduct NEPA evaluation (if not conducted prior to leasing) Cost recovery Rental payment Issue ROW lease Reject bids (if applicable) Bidding Variable offsets Notice of competitive offer Call for nominations(if applicable) Select and prepare parcels Initiate Competitive Process BLM ConductsCompetitive Offer BLM Selects Successful Bidder Terms and Conditions for Leases BLM Issues Notice to Proceed Procedures for Issuing Solar Energy ROW Leases Competitively
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Performance and Reclamation bonds ensure that the lessee provides the appropriate financial guarantees, including cash, to cover potential liabilities or specific requirements identified by the BLM for the construction, operation, decommissioning, and reclamation of an authorized right-of-way (ROW) on public lands.

Performance and Reclamation bonds for leases are determined based on the standard bond amount for solar ($10,000 per acre), unlike bonds for areas outside of designated leasing areas (DLAs) which are based on Reclamation Cost Estimates.

  • Bonds must be obtained in order for leaseholders to receive written approval from the BLM to proceed with ground disturbing activities.
  • For testing and monitoring sites authorized under a solar development lease, leaseholders must provide a bond in the amount of $2,000 per site in order to receive written approval to proceed with ground disturbing activities.
  • The BLM will adjust the bond amounts every 10 years using the change in the IPD-GDP for the preceding 10-year period rounded to the nearest $100.

Acceptable bond instruments include:

  • Cash
  • Cashier's or certified check
  • Certificate or book entry deposits
  • Negotiable U.S. Treasury securities
  • Surety bonds from the approved list of sureties (U.S. Treasury Circular 570) payable to the BLM
  • Irrevocable letters of credit payable to the BLM and issued by banks or financial institutions organized or authorized to transact business in the United States
  • An insurance policy, provided that the BLM is a named beneficiary of the policy, and the BLM determines that the insurance policy will guarantee performance of financial obligations and was issued by an insurance carrier that has the authority to issue policies in the applicable jurisdiction and whose insurance operations are organized or authorized to transact business in the United States

Unacceptable bond instruments include:

  • A corporate guarantee