Recently, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), a division of the U.S. Interior Department, held an auction for the first group of Solar Energy Zones (SEZ) on the western side of the United States. SEZs are areas of federal land that have been designated as prime locations for the construction of a solar generating plant.
Solar Developers Interested, No Bids Yet
The SEZ at the San Luis Valley site in Colorado was chosen due to its proximity to existing transmission infrastructure and the minimal environmental impact that it would have on the land.
It seemed like a great place for a developer to invest in a solar plant that would deliver clean, renewable energy to the electric grid. Even though many developers expressed interested in the project beforehand, the auction did not attract any bidders.
Issues with Solar Auction Process
Some industry observers have speculated that potential developers were dissuaded from bidding because the rules and project specifics had yet to be finalized at the time of auction.
This was only the first of several auctions the BLM will be holding in the coming months for its 19 Solar Energy Zones (three of which are located in California). Because of the recent no-bid conclusion, the BLM will go back to the drawing board and revise their strategy for upcoming auctions.
How Rooftop Solar Differs from Utility Solar Installs
While solar installations of all sizes are important for our energy future and allow us rely less on dirty energy, smaller scale solar installations are typically easier to complete than utility scale solar projects.
Often, environmental obstacles and opposition from local interests result in considerable delays for utility solar projects. For example, developers of the Ivanpah Solar Project in California came across multiple delays and had to adapt their plans many times in order to preserve the native desert tortoise population.
In contrast, most residential and small commercial solar installations only take a few months to install and connect to the electric grid. Additionally, they often receive little-to-no opposition. In fact, most rooftop solar installations are applauded for their environmental benefits that are good for the solar panel owner and their surrounding community.
If you’re interested in learning how your family can benefit from adopting solar power as your main source of electricity, we invite you to contact AMECO today by calling (888) 595-9570 or emailing GoSolar@AmecoSolar.com today to schedule an evaluation.