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Energy Industry Update: June 22, 2010 BLM Releases Rental Rates for Companies Looking to Use Federal Land for the Generation of Solar Power

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Releases Rental Rates for Companies Looking to Use Federal Land for the Generation of Solar Power

Date: 06/22/2010

XsunX, Inc. (OTCBB:XSNX), the developer of advanced, thin-film photovoltaic (TFPV) solar cell technologies and manufacturing processes, updates its shareholders on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) first rental schedule for solar energy right-of-way authorizations on public lands.


In response to President Obama’s policy to develop a national renewable energy infrastructure, the BLM announced its rental rates last week for companies wishing to use federal lands for solar farms and transmission right-of-ways.


Bob Abbey, BLM Director stated, “Today, we are providing the solar energy industry the level of certainty it needs about the costs associated with projects on the public lands and ensuring a fair return to American taxpayers for the use of their public lands.”


The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) requires the BLM to collect an annual rental payment from developers at “fair market value” for right-of-way authorizations on public lands. Todd Woody reported in a New York Times Green blog post last week that “that methodology {for fair market value} is a work in progress as the agency tries to adapt decades-old formulas designed for oil and gas leasing and mineral extraction to renewable energy production.”


While the process may still be filled with other permitting and market pricing challenges, the implications of this rate sheet means the 253 million acres of public lands available for possible solar development now has a management policy. Not all of the BLM’s 253 million acres may make economic sense for use due to distance from populated areas or transmission costs for the electricity; however, there are substantial portions of BLM land either abutting or near populated areas or transmission infrastructure that may offer the industrious entrepreneurs of the renewable energy era new opportunities.


“Producing the policies and developing a structure behind such solar energy initiatives is a major step forward,” said Tom Djokovich, CEO, XsunX, Inc. “Solar farms require land that allows the project to make economic sense.  Finding such land can be a daunting task for developers. We commend the BLM for beginning this important process.” 


Mr. Djokovich’s sentiments echo President Obama’s speech given at the Oval Office address last week where he stated, "After all, oil is a finite resource. We consume more than 20 percent of the world's oil, but have less than two percent of the world’s oil reserves. And that's part of the reason oil companies are drilling a mile beneath the surface of the ocean - because we're running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water."