More than 4,800 acres up for solar energy development in Southern Utah; potential to create 200 jobs

  • Sep 13, 2021
  • St. George News

CEDAR CITY — Last week, the Bureau of Land Management’s Cedar City Field Office announced the beginning of a 60-day bidding period to lease more than 4,800 acres in the Milford Flats South Solar Energy Zone, in Beaver County, with the potential to generate power for 100,000 homes and create more than 200 jobs.

The efficient deployment of renewable energy from the nation’s public lands is crucial in achieving the Biden Administration’s goal of a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035, the release states, as well as Congress’ direction in the Energy Act of 2020 to permit 25 gigawatts of solar, wind and geothermal production on public lands no later than 2025.

The BLM manages vast stretches of public lands that have the potential to make significant contributions to the nation’s renewable energy portfolio.

“The BLM designated the Milford Flats South Solar Energy Zone to maximize the ability for solar energy production, while minimizing conflicts and impacts to resources,” Color Country District Manager Gloria Tibbetts said in the release. “The BLM has prioritized the responsible development of renewable energy in the Cedar City Field Office, which already manages lands that generate energy in the forms of wind and geothermal power.”

The path to the development of leasing solar energy zones started many years ago, Cedar City Field Manager Paul Briggs said in the news release.

“We are pleased to offer leases to develop renewable energy resources and help Beaver County build upon its reputation as Utah’s renewable energy capital,” Briggs said. “We are working closely with our community partners and Tribal governments to ensure that any leased parcels are developed responsibly.”

If the parcels being offered are leased and fully developed, the BLM anticipates that the solar energy facilities would provide approximately 200 construction jobs and 15 operations positions with more than $10 million in total salaries. The area has an estimated potential for projects that could generate over 600 megawatts of electricity, providing power to approximately 100,000 homes, according to the news release.

Publication of the Notice of Competitive Offer in the Federal Register officially begins the sealed bidding period to lease the three parcels of land, which will close at 10 a.m. MST on Tuesday, Nov. 9. The BLM will use bids received by 10 a.m. on Nov. 9, to conduct the lease offer.

An Invitation for Bids and Bidding Instructions for those desiring to submit bids can be found online. Parcel maps and other supplemental information can also be found at the ePlanning website.

For additional information, contact Brooklynn Cox at 435-865-3073 or [email protected].

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