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Colorado State Geothermal Lease (3-CO-a)

State Geothermal Lease Process

3-CO-a.1 - Will the Project be on Locally Managed Land?

If the project will be on locally managed land, e.g. by a municipality, any geothermal lease-type arrangements must be made with the local entity.

3-CO-a.2 - Initiate Local Land Access Process

3-CO-a.3 - Will the Project Be on State Land Board administered land?

The State Land Board is in the process of establishing a geothermal lease process for land administered by the State Land Board (SLB). Under CRS 37-90-.5-105, the SLB has the authority to lease SLB lands through negotiation or competitive bidding. However, the SLB is establishing a process that does not involve competitive bidding.

For geothermal lease-type arrangements on land managed by other state agencies or owned privately, the developer will have to negotiate directly with those parties.

3-CO-a.4 - Negotiate Lease with State Agency or Private Land Owner

3-CO-a.5 - Pre-Application Meeting

Geothermal leases follow a two-step process: a planning (or exploration) phase and a production phase. The pre-application meeting can also be a phone call. The staff and the developer discuss the details of the project, including: the location, when the project will commence, what the developer seeks to develop, and how the developer intends to go about the project.

3-CO-a.6 - Geothermal Lease Application Form (SLB Form 61-s)

The developer should use SLB Form 61-s to apply for either the Planning Lease or the Production Lease. The developer will need to know the location of the project, the development methods, projected MW (for Production Lease), etc.

SLB Geothermal Lease Application.pdf

In addition to the application form, lease requirements include (C.R.S. 36-1-147 Geothermal Leases):

(a) The filing of a surety bond to assure compliance with the lease terms and the requirements of article 90.5 of title 37, C.R.S.;
(b) Royalties on both the geothermal resource and its by-product;
(c) The protection of the environment, including but not necessarily limited to the air quality, the ground and surface water quality, and the land surface, as well as the rest of the environment.

Furthermore, in administering geothermal leases, the SLB must encourage maximum economic recovery of geothermal resources, prevents waste of said resources, and protects the public interest in the lands of the state by requiring the exploration for the development and protection of geothermal resources to proceed in an environmentally acceptable manner.

3-CO-a.7 - Public Notice and Comment Period

Under CRS 37-90-.5-105, no SLB land may be leased without a 35 day public comment period.

3-CO-a.8 - Staff Review

The staff of the SLB will review the application materials.

3-CO-a.9 - Does SLB Approve the Lease?

3-CO-a.10 - Appeal to the Director of the Land Board

If the staff does not approve the application, the developer may appeal to the director of the Land Board. Whether or not the director approves the lease, the decision goes back to the Board.

3-CO-a.11 - Develop and Execute Lease

If the lease is approved, the details of the lease will be developed and the final lease will be executed.

3-CO-a.12 - Geothermal Planning or Production Lease

If the developer is applying for a Planning Lease, at the end of the lease, the developer may then file an application for a Production Lease.

3-CO-a.13 - Payment Up-Front

For the first year, payment must be up front.

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Contact Information


  • SLB Geothermal Lease Application.pdf

Edit Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners
Right-of-Way Program Manager 303-266-3454 ext. 3328 Visit Website

Edit Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners
Renewable Energy Program Manager 303-266-3454 ext. 3335 Visit Website