From the Denver Business Journal:
[The November 12 sale is] the first time the BLM has offered a parcel specifically for geothermal power development in Colorado. Typically, the BLM’s lease sales offer parcels intended for oil and gas development. The agency will offer for lease a parcel sized at 799.2 acres for subsurface federal mineral rights. The parcel is in Chaffee County, near the Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort west of Buena Vista.
More coverage from the Salida Citizen (Trey Beck). From the article:
Geothermal resources, such as steam and hot water, are used directly to heat buildings and in greenhouses and aquaculture, and indirectly to generate electric power. Half of the nation’s geothermal energy production occurs on federal land, much of it in California and Nevada, and 90 percent of potential geothermal resources are located on public lands as well, according to the BLM. The earth’s crust may be slightly thinner in Colorado between Leadville and Paonia, a phenomenon known as the Aspen Anomaly, making this region more promising for geothermal development.
Chaffee County stands to benefit materially from the Mount Princeton lease, as geothermal lease revenues and royalties are shared with the states and counties where the leases are located, with 50 percent going to the state and 25 percent to the county. A competitive auction of lease parcels for geothermal energy resources on federal public lands in California, Nevada and Utah earlier this year generated a top per-acre bid of $3,800. Bidding for the Mount Princeton lease will start at $2 per acre.