Bureau of Land Management Solar Energy Program Western Solar Plan
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Variance Application Submittal

An applicant seeking to develop a solar energy project in a variance area will be required to submit a right-of-way (ROW) application to the BLM.

Following completion of the required preliminary meetings, an applicant seeking to develop a project in a variance area will be required to submit a ROW application to the BLM (Form SF-299, Application for Transportation and Utility Systems and Facilities on Federal Land). The Plan of Development submitted with an application must be of sufficient detail (as determined by the BLM) to evaluate the suitability of the site for utility-scale solar energy development. Solar ROW applications in variance areas will typically be required to include a description of the proposed solar technology and the proposed location of solar panels or reflectors, buildings, and other infrastructure such as transmission lines and roads. The BLM will determine if and when the information is of sufficient detail to initiate coordination activities.

Cost-Recovery Agreement

Upon submission and BLM review of a ROW application, a cost-recovery agreement will be established with the applicant (43 CFR 2804.14). An applicant for a ROW in a variance area must establish a cost-recovery account sufficient to cover all costs of the United States associated with accepting, reviewing, and processing the application, including, but not limited to:

  • Conducting an environmental review and related consultations;
  • Conducting inventories for resources such as cultural resources, visual resources, and special status species; and
  • Inspecting and monitoring the construction, operation, and decommissioning of the proposed ROW facility.
Updated: 6/24/2013