The barren hills in the Mecca Hills Wilderness Area create an interesting pattern across this desert landscape.
Desert cactus in bloom Dos Palmas Windmills at the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains Firefighter working a prescribed burn Bighorn Sheep
BLM>California>Palm Springs-South Coast>Solar Energy Projects>Desert Sunlight Solar Farm
Print Page
Palm Springs - South Coast Field Office

Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Project (CACA 48649)

The following diagram shows the current progress for this proposed project with links to applicable project-related documents. The colored bar in the center indicates the items that have been completed or are currently underway.


Federal Coordination Process
Under Construction - 



- Right-of-Way Grant

Record of Decision -  
  Notification of Final EIS

  Publication of Final EIS -

  - Public Comment Period
Notice of Availability of Draft EIS -  
Notice of Intent -  

Project Vitals
First Solar Development, Inc. (First Solar) proposes to construct and operate a 550-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant project known as the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm (DSSF or Project). The DSSF would include three main components 1) the Solar Farm site, 2) a transmission line, and 3) a Southern California Edison (SCE) owned and operated substation, Red Bluff Substation.

The Solar Farm site is on land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) six miles north of the rural community of Desert Center, which is adjacent to the I-10 freeway in eastern Riverside County, California.

The Project includes a 230-kV transmission line that would extend south from the Solar Farm site and interconnect to the planned Red Bluff substation near I-10. The Red Bluff Substation would interconnect with the existing SCE Devers-Palo Verde 1 transmission line. The three main project components will require a total of about 4,410 acres – 4,090 acres for the Solar Farm, 230 acres for the transmission corridor, and 90 acres for the substation.

Public Comments

Comments on this project are welcome at anytime during the environmental review process. However, to ensure that comments will be addressed in the Final EIS/SA, the BLM must receive written comments on the Draft EIS/SA and Plan Amendment within 90 days following the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its Notice of Availability (NOA) in the Federal Register. 

Comments addressed to BLM can be sent by e-mail, fax (760) 833-7199, or in writing to:
Regular Mail: BLM Director (210), Attention: Brenda Williams, P.O. Box 71383, Washington, DC 20024-1383;

Overnight Mail: BLM Director (210), Attention: Brenda Williams, 20 M Street, S.E., Room 2134LM, Washington, DC 20003.

Correction -- please note:

The Dear Reader Letter in the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Final Environmental Impact Statement includes an incorrect address for Protest mailing. Please send protests to:

Regular Mail: BLM Director (210), Attention: Brenda Williams, P.O. Box 71383, Washington, DC 20024-1383;

Overnight Mail: BLM Director (210), Attention: Brenda Williams, 20 M Street, S.E., Room 2134LM, Washington, DC 20003.

This address was listed correctly in the Federal Register Notice of Availability , dated April 15, 2011 (Volume 76, Number 73, Page 21402-21403).

Public Meetings and Hearing

A public scoping meeting has been schedule for Tuesday, September 9, 2014 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m at the Palm Desert Graduate Center, University of California, Riverside, 75080 Frank Sinatra Drive, Palm Desert, CA 92211.

Future meetings,  hearings and any other public involvement activities will be announced at least 15 days in advance through public notices, media releases, and/or mailings.

For more information please contact the Bureau of Land Management Project Manager Frank McMenimen at (760) 833-7150 (

Construction and Compliance Monitoring

First Solar Development Updates  

Authorization Documents

Record of Decision

Appendix 1 - Protest Resolution Summary

Appendix 2 - Adopted Mitigation Measures
Appendix 3 - Biological Opinion
Appendix 4 - Memorandum of Agreement
Appendix 5 - Environmental Construction Compliance Monitoring Plan
Appendix 6 - Maps

Final EIS

Chapter One
Executive Summary; Introduction; 97 pages; 3.5 MB

Chapter Two
Description of Proposed Action and Alternatives; 135 pages; 6 MB

Chapter Three 
Affected Environment;  242 pages; 9 MB

Chapter Four
Environmental Consequences; 629 pages; 11 MB
Chapters Five to Eight
Consultation, Coordination, and Public Participation; References; Glossary and List of Acronyms; Index; 51 pages; 340 KB
Appendices A to E
Public Scoping; Construction Schedule for Solar Farm and Gen-Tie Lines; CPUC's CEQA Environmentally Superior Alternative; Air Quality Analysis; Noise Analysis; 187 pages; 2 MB
Appendix F
Geotechnical Studies; 105 pages; 5 MB
Appendix G
Water Resource Studies; 193 pages; 14 MB
Appendix H
Biological Resources; 338 pages; 13 MB
Appendices I to L
Traffic Study; Environmental Site Assessment; Cultural Resources; CPUC Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting; 259 pages; 10 MB
Appendix M
Comment Letters; 720 pages; 39 MB
Appendix N to O
Responses to Comments; Accounting Surface Technical Memorandum; 172 pages; 1 MB

Draft EIS

Cover sheet, Signature Page, Dear Reader Letter, Executive Summary, Table of Contents,
63 pages; .98 MB

Chapter 1
22 pages; 894 KB
Chapter 2
Project Description
128 pages; 11.6 MB
Chapter 3
Affected Environment
246 pages; 8.34 MB
Chapter 4
Environmental Consequences
600 pages; 9.2 MB
Chapters 5,6,7,8
Consultation, Coordination, and Public Participation; References; Glossary and List of Acronyms; Index
45 pages; 296 KB
Appendix A
Public Scoping
19 pages; 1.23 MB
Appendix B
Construction Schedule for Solar Farm and Gen-Tie Lines
3 pages; 1.05 MB
Appendix C
CPUC’s CEQA Environmentally Superior Alternative
16 pages; 585 KB
Appendix D
Air Quality Analyses
100 pages; 3.64 MB
Appendix E
Noise Analyses
41 pages; 1.28 MB
Appendix F
Geotechnical Studies
107 pages; 6.72 MB
Appendix G
Water Resources Studies
196 pages; 30.1 MB
Appendix H
Biological Resources
293 pages; 26.05 MB
Appendix I
Traffic Study
160 pages; 1 MB
Appendix J
Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment
134 pages; 7.05 MB
Appendix K
Cultural Resources
15 pages; 2.82 MB

Related Links
Biological Assessment

Appendix A - Desert Tortoise Translocation Plan

Appendix C - Common Raven Management Plan

Appendix D - Habitat Compensation Plan

Appendix E - Integrated Weed Management Plan

BLM CDD Renewable Energy
Understanding the NEPA Process

Bureau of Land Management
Palm Springs - South Coast Field Office
1201 Bird Center Drive
Palm Springs, California 92262
Phone: (760) 833-7100
Fax: (760) 833-7199
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., M-F
Contact us by Email
Location of Field Office