Applicants must submit a complete and acceptable application and provide a cost-recovery payment before the BLM will initiate processing of a right-of-way (ROW) application for utility-scale solar energy development outside of designated leasing areas or SEZs. It is anticipated that most ROW applications for solar energy development will be Category 6, full cost-recovery applications. The categories of applications and associated processing fees are explained in 43 CFR 2804.14. In addition to the cost-recovery payment, the regulations also require an application filing fee of $15 per acre for all solar energy ROW applications outside of designated leasing areas (43 CFR 2804.12(c)(2)).
Cost-recovery payments are also required from the holder of a solar energy lease within a designated leasing area (DLA) or SEZ to cover the reasonable costs for the BLM or other Federal agencies to review and approve a Plan of Development (POD) for the lease and to monitor the lease for compliance with the terms and conditions of the lease (43 CFR 2809.18(d)). In addition to the cost-recovery payment for a solar energy ROW lease, the regulations also require the payment of a non-refundable nomination fee of $5 per acre for any party that nominates a parcel of land to BLM for a competitive lease offer within a DLA (43 CFR 2809.11(b)(1)).