BLM's process and requirements for issuing solar energy right-of-way (ROW) grants.
The regulations at 43 CFR 2800 and subparts (as amended in 2017) allow the BLM to issue solar energy ROW “grants” in response to applications for utility-scale solar energy development. The grant permitting process is not a competitive process, but the BLM may initiate competitive bidding under certain conditions. The BLM will not competitively offer lands for which the BLM has accepted an application and filing fee, received a plan of development, and executed a cost recovery agreement.
For processing solar ROW grants, the following categories of lands require processes and requirements in addition to the regulations at 43 CFR 2800 and subparts:
For areas not described in the Solar PEIS or DRECP, the procedures for processing and issuing ROW grants simply follow the regulations at 43 CFR 2800 and subparts. The BLM will generally prioritize the competitive processing of leases for projects within designated leasing areas (DLAs) over processing grant applications for areas outside of DLAs. There are also additional prioritization criteria for applications outside of DLAs.
The diagram above describes the application process for solar energy ROW authorizations. Click on the steps in the diagram (or the navigation links on the left) for additional information. Summaries of procedures specific to Variance Lands, VPLs, DFAs, and lands outside the Solar PEIS are also available on the Procedures for Specific Areas outside DLAs webpage.