The plan to auction rights to federal land across the West for solar power plants got off to a rocky start Thursday when no bidders showed up for the first auction in Colorado.
Uncertainties about the solar market and federal rules likely were major factors in the auction's failure, industry officials said.
Five companies had filed preliminary applications for the three San Luis Valley parcels, and there were another 27 inquires about the sites, according to Bureau of Land Management officials.
Based on that interest, officials scheduled an auction for the 3,700 acres of valley land at the BLM Colorado office in Lakewood.
"We are going to have to regroup and figure out what didn't work," said Maryanne Kurtinaitis, renewable-energy program manager for the BLM in Colorado.
"It is always tough to be the first out of the chute. This is a learning experience," Kurtinaitis said.
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