The Wall Street Journal reports that federal officials are investigating concerns that applications for developing renewable energy on federal lands "could become unofficial currency amid a land rush spurred by increasingly aggressive renewable energy requirements in California and other western states, and as Congress considers a national renewable energy mandate."
The concerns were raised as a result of Tempe-based "solar-panel maker First Solar Inc.'s recent $400 million acquisition of a smaller rival wrongly included pending applications to use federal land." The announcement stated the deal included 136,000 acres of 'strategic land rights' in the western U.S.
A BLM spokesperson is quoted as saying applications per se convey no right and have no intrinsic value. The article states that BLM has not issued any land-use permits for solar power. [right, solar energy resources on BLM lands. Credit, BLM]