Friday, October 25, 2013

What If They Had A Solar Auction and Nobody Came?

In Colorado, you didn't have to imagine. The Denver Business Journal reports that bidders at the nation's first federally-run auction to develop solar projects on public lands were a no-show. And to clarify, I don't mean there were a few internet, telephone or mail-in bids- there were literally ZERO bidders.

To be fair, the Bureau of Land Management had received dozens of inquiries about developing various areas for proposed solar projects, but for whatever reason, none of the interested parties bothered showing up to Thursday's auction.

No bidders showed up for the auction by the federal Bureau of Land Management, which was held Thursday in Lakewood.

“We did not have any bidders come to the sale and we did not receive any sealed bids on the sale,” BLM spokeswoman Vanessa Lacayo said.

“The BLM had received interest in developing the sites, that’s why we moved forward,” she said. “It’s hard to say why we didn’t have any bidders."

In a statement, the BLM said it held the auction because the agency received nine applications and 27 inquiries and expressions of interest after it sought to gauge interest levels from the private sector in March 2013.

The auction offered companies the first chance to bid on the opportunity to file development plans for solar power plants on three parcels in Colorado’s two “Solar Energy Zones” in Conejos and Saguache counties in the sunny San Luis Valley.

While green energy advocates say that the recent government shutdown may have caused uncertainty regarding the auction, recent bankruptcies of solar energy firms such as SunTech, Solyndra, Evergreen Solar or Spectra Watt have likely scared hedge funds and venture capitalists away from the solar companies- despite heavy government subsidies.

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