The BLM has regulatory authority to use competitive bid procedures if there is competition outside of designated leasing areas.
The BLM determines whether applications in a single right-of-way (ROW) system are compatible or are competing for the same system. The BLM may offer any land not inside a designated leasing area and open to ROW applications under 43 CFR 2802.10 through a competitive process. Multiple applications for the same lands can provide an indication of the need to consider a competitive process. In determining which of two or more applications to process, the BLM may consider variables such as public interest, market demand for solar energy development in the region (including markets in other states), expressions of interest from other parties, authorized use and/or ownership of adjoining lands, and the purpose of the project.
The BLM may use any type of competitive process or procedure to conduct its competitive offer and any method, including the use of the Internet, to conduct the actual auction or competitive bid procedure. Possible bid procedures could include, but are not limited to: sealed bidding, oral auctions, modified competitive bidding, electronic bidding, and any combination thereof.
The BLM will publish a notice in the Federal Register at least 30 days prior to the competitive offer and may use other notification methods, such as a newspaper of general circulation in the area affected by the potential ROW or the Internet.
The Federal Register notice would include: (1) date, time, and location (if any) of competitive offer; (2) the legal land description of the parcel offered; (3) the bidding methodology; (4) the minimum bid required; (5) the qualification requirements for bidders; and (6) the requirements for the successful bidder to submit a schedule for submission of a plan of development (POD).
Bid submissions. The BLM will accept only bids that include payment for the minimum bid and at least 20 percent of the bonus bid. The minimum bid consists of: the administrative costs incurred by the BLM and other Federal agencies in preparing for and conducting the competitive offer, including required environmental reviews; and an amount determined by the authorizing officer and disclosed in the notice of competitive offer. In setting this amount, the BLM will consider factors that include, but are not limited to, the acreage rent and megawatt capacity fee.
The bonus bid consists of any dollar amount that a bidder wishes to bid in addition to the minimum bid.
If you are not the successful bidder, the BLM will refund your bid and any application filing fees, less the reasonable costs incurred by the United States in connection with your application.
If the BLM is unable to determine the successful bidder, such as in the case of a tie, the BLM may re-offer the lands competitively to the tied bidders, or to all bidders. If lands offered competitively receive no bids the BLM may: re-offer the lands through the competitive process or make the lands available through the non-competitive application process, if the BLM determines that doing so is in the public interest.