Bureau of Land Management Nevada to hold September geothermal lease sale

ELY — The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Ely District Office announced today that it will offer 21 parcels in White Pine County, a total of approximately 76,094.31 acres, at the September 2019 Nevada State Office competitive geothermal lease sale. This notice initiates a public comment period on associated environmental documents that ends on June 24, 2019. The BLM will hold the lease sale online at www.energynet.com.

In keeping with the Administration’s goal of strengthening America’s energy security, the BLM supports an all-of-the-above energy plan that includes oil and gas, coal, hydroelectric, and renewable sources such as wind, geothermal, and solar – all of which can be developed on public lands.  

An additional environmental review will take place during processing of the Geothermal Drilling Permit (GDP), when site-specific conditions of approval will be placed on the permit in addition to the stipulations attached to the lease. Geothermal leases are for an initial 10-year period with the opportunity to extend if diligent exploration and development occur.


Geothermal was the first renewable energy that the BLM approved for production on public lands, with 2018 marking four decades since the first approved geothermal project in 1978. The BLM presently manages over 800 geothermal leases, with over 50 geothermal leases in producing status, generating approximately 1,648 megawatts of geothermal energy on public lands, enough to power 500,000 homes. This amounts to over 40 percent of U.S. geothermal energy. The BLM’s geothermal leases provide not only electrical power generation but also alternative heat sources for direct-use commercial endeavors. 

Nevada BLM has eighteen operating geothermal power plants with federal interest, for a total generating capability of nearly 500 megawatts of geothermal energy. 

Geothermal leases generate over $12 million in Federal royalties each year. Fifty percent of the funds collected as bids, rent and royalties are disbursed to the state, 25 percent to the county where the lease is located and 25 percent to the U.S. Treasury.

The BLM manages public lands for many uses, including sustainable energy development. The leased parcels undergo a detailed environmental analysis that includes three opportunities for involvement: scoping, public comment and protest periods. 

Public Comments

Comments on the environmental assessment must be submitted in writing to the BLM Ely District Office, 702 North Industrial Way, Ely, NV 89301 Attn: Tiera Arbogast or by fax to (775) 289-1910 Attn: Tiera Arbogast. The environmental documents, lists and maps of the parcels, and attached stipulations are online at https://go.usa.gov/xmzz6

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, the BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so.

Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question with the individual named above. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.