The government's first auction to lease federal land to companies for solar power projects Thursday didn't turn a single bidder, which experts told the Denver Post was likely the result of the market and the feds own rules.
The feds first auction for land, which would be leased by those interested in solar power projects, did not receive a single bid Thursday. (Image source: Shutterstock.com)
The Bureau of Land Management announced in August it would hold the first auction for Solar Energy Zones in Colorado, putting on the block more than 3,700 acres of land.
Five companies had filed initial applications, but none came through.
"We are going to have to regroup and figure out what didn't work," Maryanne Kurtinaitis with the BLM in Colorado told the Post.
Both oral and sealed bids were permitted by BLM, but spokesperson Vanessa Lacayo told the Denver Business Journal neither were proposed Thursday by interested parties.
Ken Borngrebe with First Solar cited a "lack of confidence" in the market as a potential reason, according to the Post. While Solar Energy Industries Association Spokesman Ken Johnson said unfinished "ground rules" for the land set by the government might be to blame.
"We will evaluate today's auction as we look at future opportunities to offer lands in Solar Energy Zones for development, both in Colorado and other Western states," a statement from BML said, according to the Business Journal.
“These Solar Energy Zones are part of our effort to make sure that we’re developing clean energy in the right places and in the right ways,” BLM’s Principal Deputy Director Neil Kornze said in a statement ahead of the auction. “Thursday’s competitive auction is an important milestone as we seek to accelerate the development of clean energy on our public lands that hold enormous potential for the solar power and for generating jobs and revenue for local communities.”
“President Obama challenged us to bring 20,000 megawatts of renewable energy on line by 2020. We've made great strides toward meeting that goal, and this effort will bring us one step closer,” Kornze continued.
If fully developed someday, the two Colorado Solar Energy Zones could produce about 400 megawatts -- enough energy to power an estimated 125,000 homes.
Th whole of the Western Solar Plan, approved in October 2012, created other Solar Energy Zones across the West, which would go through a competitive bidding process.
(H/T: Hot Air)