Bureau of Land Management Solar Energy Permitting and Program Resources
Quick Links

Terms and Conditions for Grants

Procedures for Issuing Solar Energy ROW Grants Applicant-initiated action BLM-initiated action Major milestone BLM Issues ROW Grant BLM Evaluates Application Terms and Conditions for Grants Developer Submits Application Due diligence Assignments Issue notice to proceed Rent and applicable fees Performance and reclamation bond Finalize cost recovery Finalize plan of development Conduct NEPA evaluation Reject or prioritize application Variance concurrence (if applicable) Competitive bidding (if applicable) Initiate early tribal and interagency outreach Determine applicant technical/financial capabilities Preliminary meetings Initiate cost recovery Plan of development Application filing fee
Click on the steps in the diagram to learn more

Right-of-way (ROW) authorization grants will be issued subject to valid existing rights. The BLM will send a written response when it has made a decision on an application. If approved, the BLM will send an unsigned grant for the applicants review and signature. If the application is rejected, application fees will be refunded and the BLM will send the applicant a written notice that states the reasons for denial.

During construction, operation, maintenance, and termination of the project the grantee agrees to comply with and be bound by the following terms and conditions (specified at 43 CFR 2805.12):

  1. To the extent practicable, comply with all existing and subsequently enacted, issued, or amended Federal laws and regulations and State laws and regulations applicable to the authorized use;
  2. Rebuild and repair roads, fences, and established trails destroyed or damaged by the project;
  3. Build and maintain suitable crossings for existing roads and significant trails that intersect the project;
  4. Do everything reasonable to prevent and suppress wildfires on or in the immediate vicinity of the ROW area;
  5. Not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment during any stage of the project because of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, or national origin. The grantee must also require subcontractors to not discriminate;
  6. Pay monitoring fees and rent described in subsection 2805.16 and subpart 2806;
  7. Assume full liability if third parties are injured or damages occur to property on or near the ROW (see § 2807.12);
  8. Comply with project-specific terms, conditions, and stipulations, including requirements to:
    1. Restore, revegetate, and curtail erosion or conduct any other rehabilitation measure the BLM determines necessary;
    2. Ensure that activities in connection with the grant comply with air and water quality standards or related facility siting standards contained in applicable Federal or State law or regulations;
    3. Control or prevent damage to: scenic, aesthetic, cultural, and environmental values, including fish and wildlife habitat; public and private property; and public health and safety;
    4. Provide for compensatory mitigation for residual impacts associated with the ROW;
    5. Protect the interests of individuals living in the general area who rely on the area for subsistence uses as that term is used in Title VIII of Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) (16 U.S.C. 3111 et seq.);
    6. Ensure that the facilities are constructed, operated, maintained, and terminated on the lands in the ROW in a manner consistent with the grant or lease, including the approved plan of development (POD);
    7. When the State standards are more stringent than Federal standards, comply with State standards for public health and safety, environmental protection, and siting, constructing, operating, and maintaining any facilities and improvements on the ROW; and
    8. Grant the BLM an equivalent authorization for an access road across the land if the BLM determines that a reciprocal authorization is needed in the public interest and the authorization the BLM issued to the grantee is also for road access;
    9. Immediately notify all Federal, State, tribal, and local agencies of any release or discharge of hazardous material reportable to such entity under applicable law. The grantee must also notify the BLM at the same time and send the BLM a copy of any written notification prepared;
    10. Not dispose of or store hazardous material on the ROW, except as provided by the terms, conditions, and stipulations of the grant;
    11. Certify compliance with all requirements of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986, (42 U.S.C. 11001 et seq.), when the grant is received, assigned, renewed, amended, or terminated;
    12. Control and remove any release or discharge of hazardous material on or near the ROW arising in connection with use and occupancy of the ROW, whether or not the release or discharge is authorized under the grant. The grantee must also remediate and restore lands and resources affected by the release or discharge to the BLM's satisfaction and to the satisfaction of any other Federal, State, tribal, or local agency having jurisdiction over the land, resource, or hazardous material;
    13. Comply with all liability and indemnification provisions and stipulations in the grant;
    14. As the BLM directs, provide diagrams or maps showing the location of any constructed facility;
    15. As the BLM directs, provide, or give access to, any pertinent environmental, technical, and financial records, reports, and other information, such as Power Purchase and Interconnection Agreements or the production and sale data for electricity generated from the approved facilities on public lands. Failure to comply with such requirements may, at the discretion of the BLM, result in suspension or termination of the ROW authorization. The BLM may use this and similar information for the purpose of monitoring the authorization and for periodic evaluation of financial obligations under the authorization, as appropriate. Any records the BLM obtains will be made available to the public subject to all applicable legal requirements and limitations for inspection and duplication under the Freedom of Information Act. Any information marked confidential or proprietary will be kept confidential to the extent allowed by law; and
    16. Comply with all other stipulations that the BLM may require.
    17. Grantees must comply with the bonding requirements under § 2805.20. The BLM will not give written approval to proceed with ground disturbing activities until bonding requirements have been met.

Additional Terms and Conditions for Solar Energy Development Grant

By accepting a grant for solar energy development, the grantee also agrees to comply with and be bound by the following terms and conditions. The grantee must:

  1. Not begin any ground disturbing activities until the BLM issues a Notice to Proceed (2807.10) or written approval to proceed with ground disturbing activities;
  2. Complete construction within the timeframes in the approved POD, but no later than 24 months after the start of construction, unless the project has been approved for staged development, or as otherwise authorized by the BLM;
  3. If an approved POD provides for staged development, unless otherwise approved by the BLM, construction of the initial phase of development must begin within 12 months after issuance of the Notice to Proceed (see details under Final Plan of Development).
  4. Maintain all onsite electrical generation equipment and facilities in accordance with the design standards in the approved POD;
  5. Repair and place into service, or remove from the site, damaged or abandoned facilities that have been inoperative for any continuous period of 3 months and that present an unnecessary hazard to the public lands. The grantee must take appropriate remedial action within 30 days after receipt of a written noncompliance notice, unless provided an extension of time by the BLM. Alternatively, the grantee must show good cause for any delays in repairs, use, or removal; estimate when corrective action will be completed; provide evidence of diligent operation of the facilities; and submit a written request for an extension of the 30-day deadline. If the grantee does not comply with this provision, the BLM may suspend or terminate the authorization under §§ 2807.17 through 2807.19; and
  6. Comply with the diligent development provisions of the authorization or the BLM may suspend or terminate the grant or lease under §§ 2807.17 through 2807.19. Before suspending or terminating the authorization, the BLM will send the grantee a notice that gives a reasonable opportunity to correct any noncompliance or to start or resume use of the ROW (see § 2807.18). In response to this notice, the grantee must:
    1. Provide reasonable justification for any delays in construction (for example, delays in equipment delivery, legal challenges, and acts of God);
    2. Provide the anticipated date of completion of construction and evidence of progress toward the start or resumption of construction; and
    3. Submit a written request under paragraph (e) of this section for extension of the timelines in the approved POD. If the grantee does not comply with the requirements of paragraph (c)(7) of this section, the BLM may deny request for an extension of the timelines in the approved POD.
  7. In addition to the Reclamation Cost Estimate (RCE) requirements of § 2805.20(a)(5) for a grant, the bond secured for a grant or lease must cover the estimated costs of cultural resource and Indian cultural resource identification, protection, and mitigation for project impacts.

Energy Site or Project Testing Grants

For energy site or project testing grants:

  1. The grantee must install all monitoring facilities within 12 months after the effective date of the grant or other authorization. If monitoring facilities under a site testing and monitoring ROW authorization have not been installed within 12 months or consistent with the timeframe of the approved POD, the grantee must request an extension;
  2. The grantee must maintain all onsite equipment and facilities in accordance with the approved design standards;
  3. The grantee must repair and place into service, or remove from the site, damaged or abandoned facilities that have been inoperative for any continuous period of 3 months and that present an unnecessary hazard to the public lands; and
  4. If the grantee does not comply with the diligent development provisions of either the site testing and monitoring authorization or the project testing and monitoring authorization, the BLM may terminate the authorization under § 2807.17.

Noncompliance and Alternative Requirements

Notification of noncompliance and request for alternative requirements.

  1. As soon as the grantee anticipates not meeting any stipulation, term, or condition of the approved ROW grant or lease, or in the event of grantee noncompliance with any such stipulation, term, or condition, the grantee must notify the BLM in writing and show good cause for the noncompliance, including an explanation of the reasons for the failure.
  2. The grantee may also request that the BLM consider alternative stipulations, terms, or conditions. Any request for an alternative stipulation, term, or condition must comply with applicable law in order to be considered. Any proposed alternative to applicable bonding requirements must provide the United States with adequate financial assurance for potential liabilities associated with the ROW grant or lease. Any such request is not approved until the grantee receives BLM approval in writing.