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US Interior Department Mulling Bringing Down Wind & Solar Project Fee by Around 80% Through BLM

  • BLM has announced a proposal to reduce project fees for wind and solar projects on public lands by up to 80%
  • It will give certainty to private companies and also enable the agency to facilitate their development in priority areas without going through a complete auction
  • It has also recommended tying fee to the use of domestically made parts and materials to help develop local supply chains

The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has proposed to slash project fees of wind and solar energy facilities on federal land by up to 80% with an aim to facilitate development in priority areas and streamline applications that will also provide the private sector with greater financial predictability and certainty.

Operating under the Department of Interior, the BLM said the proposed rule will enable it to accept leasing applications in priority areas for wind and solar development, if these are found to be in public interest, without going through a full auction.  It will be able to hold competitive auctions where appropriate and consistent with past practice.

At the same time, it believes reducing costs to producers will also lead to reducing electricity costs for end users.

“Additionally, the BLM proposes reductions to capacity fees tied to a holder’s use of American made parts and materials consistent with direction in the Energy Act of 2020,” it explains. “Using incentives to create demand for American-made renewable energy parts and materials will help develop domestic supply chains and reduce impacts on renewable energy deployment on public lands from potential supply-chain delays.”

The proposal is open for public feedback for a period of 60 days, according to the agency’s call issued on June 16, 2023.

Additionally, the BLM is also seeking preliminary alternatives for the ongoing update to its planning for solar development in 11 states in the Western US. It would help identify areas with high potential for solar energy development, expedite permit processing and improve permit management for development in priority areas.

Currently, the agency is processing 74 utility scale onshore clean energy projects proposed on public lands in the Western US, with over 37 GW of combined renewable energy capacity as it targets to permit 25 GW of solar, wind and geothermal energy on public lands by 2025.

Source from Taiyang News

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