Features of Types of BLM Rightof Way Grants for Wind Energy Projects

Site-Specific Grant

Testing and Monitoring Grant

Project Development Grant

Purpose

Authorization for individual meteorological towers and instrumentation facilities

Authorization for use of project area for testing and monitoring; not only for individual meteorological towers or instrumentation facilities

Authorization for use of project area for the construction of all facilities necessary for a long-term, commercial wind energy project, including construction of turbines, access roads, distribution lines, and associated facilities

Land Area of Grant

Grant authorizes use of minimum amount of land necessary for permitted equipment

Grant authorizes the use of reasonable amount of land necessary for a full-scale wind energy project in the future

Grant authorizes use of reasonable amount of land area for the proposed facilities and allows for reasonable setbacks from right-of-way boundaries

Term of Grant

Three years

Three years

Typically 35 years

Renewal Terms

None

May include the right to extend term for one additional 3-year period

May include the right to extend the term of the grant

Exclusivity of

Grant

Grant does not include exclusive or preferential rights

Grant includes the exclusive right to use project site for wind energy projects for the term of the grant, but grantee must file an application for Project Development Grant if it elects to develop the project

Grant includes the exclusive right to use the project site for wind energy projects for the term of the grant, but may require developer to allow public access to the site for public awareness and education purposes

BLM Retained Rights

BLM retains right to use land for compatible uses

BLM retains right to use land for compatible uses, subject to grantee's exclusive right for wind energy project

BLM retains right to use land for compatible uses, subject to grantee's exclusive right for wind energy project

Applicable Fees

Minimum annual rent of $50 per tower or instrumentation facility

Annual rent is greater of $1.00 per acre per year or $1,000.00

Annual rent is $2,365.00 per megawatt of anticipated installed generation capacity

Best Management

Practices

Not required

Required, with site-specific covenants (e.g., bonding, road construction and maintenance, vegetation removal)

Required, with site-specific covenants (e.g., bonding, road construction and maintenance, vegetation removal)

Assignment

Not required

Assignment is allowed with BLM approval

Assignment is allowed with BLM approval

Developers interested in applying for any of the above types of projects must submit an application using a standard form provided by BLM (Standard Form 299). Under the BLM Wind Policy, developers are encouraged to schedule pre-application meetings with BLM to assist in preparing and processing the application, identify potential issues and conflict areas, identify any environmental or cultural resource studies that may be needed, assess public interests and concerns, identify other authorized uses, identify other general recreation and public uses in the area, discuss potential alternative site locations, and discuss potential financial obligations that the applicant must be willing to assume. Early public notification and involvement of local communities and other stakeholders is also important to increase public acceptance and avoid potential conflicts, especially in areas where other land uses are involved. Timelines for processing ROW applications are set forth in BLM's regulations.

As with all projects proposed on federally-managed lands, wind energy projects on BLM lands are subject to review under NEPA. Pursuant to NEPA, BLM prepared a Programmatic EIS (PEIS) and Record of Decision (ROD) for its Wind Energy Development Program. The PEIS assesses the environmental, social, and economic impacts associated with wind energy development on BLM-administered land, and the ROD establishes policies and BMPs for the administration of wind energy development activities as well as minimum requirements for mitigation measures.

To the extent that the Programmatic EIS addresses anticipated issues and concerns associated with an individual wind energy project, including potential cumulative impacts, BLM will "tier off" the analysis in the PEIS and limit the scope of additional, project-specific NEPA analyses. The site-specific NEPA analyses will include analysis of project site configuration and micrositing considerations, monitoring program requirements, and appropriate site-specific stipulations. In some circumstances, compensatory mitigation may be appropriate. The BLM Wind Policy describes the scope of NEPA review required for the various types of ROW grants. For example, the scope of environmental analysis for a Project Development Grant application will be broader than for a Testing and Monitoring Grant application.

Renewable Energy Eco Friendly

Renewable Energy Eco Friendly

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable.

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