After years of work and about 10,000 pages of analysis, the Bureau of Land Management put its land in Colorado's San Luis Valley on auction for solar development. Not one single company submitted a bid! Mark Jaffee of the Denver Post reports here:
Why did this happen? Chris Clarke of KCET's REWire suggests it may be the ascendancy of distributed solar:
Various other reasons have been suggested for the snafu - lack of transmission, difficulty of interconnection, public opposition - but perhaps it is just the price (over $3000 an acre). Land in the SLV without senior water rights often goes for $1000 an acre or less. Solar companies might get a better deal (and less "green tape") purchasing land on the open private market. In any case, mid-scale solar power is alive and well in the Valley with over 80 MW installed, about equal to the area's peak winter load.