BLM sells record $28.2M geothermal leases
Aug 6, 2008 - The Associated Press
Federal land managers sold a record $28.2 million
in geothermal leases in eight northern Nevada counties this
week, including one parcel where the rights to produce energy
from hot water and steam beneath the earth sold for $1,000
The Reno-based ENEL Geothermal LLC paid the U.S. Bureau
of Land Management more than $2.7 million for the 2,707-acre
parcel in Churchill County - one of 35 parcels totaling
105,312 acres of public lands made available under the 10-year
Last August, when the BLM sold $11.7 million worth of geothermal
leases in Nevada, the highest bid was $520 per acre.
As of early this year, Nevada had 40 geothermal projects
in development - more than any other state.
The most expensive single parcel sold this week went to
Standard Steam Trust LLC of Denver for $3.2 million.
Three parcels in Churchill County, consolidated and offered
as a block, sold for $585 per acre, bringing in $6.9 million
from Magma Energy US Corp. of Reno.
Under new regulations and a competitive leasing process
implemented by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, 50 percent
of the proceeds from the sale of geothermal leases go to
the state, 25 percent to the county and 25 percent to the
Nevada will receive about $14 million from the lease sales
while a total of more than $7 million will be realized by
the counties involved - Churchill, Elko, Esmeralda, Humboldt,
Lander, Mineral, Nye and Pershing.
In addition to the bonus bids, the geothermal producers
will pay rental costs of $2 per acre for the first year,
plus a one-time $140 per lease fee. The annual rental fee
increases over the 10 year lease to $5 per acre.