News Release

For Release:  Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007                                                   
Contact:  Stephen Razo 951-697-5217; email:

BLM Announces Intent to Prepare Environmental Impact Statement for Solar Energy Project

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to conduct a joint environmental review with the California Energy Commission on the impacts of a proposed solar energy project in the California Desert.  Demands for energy are generating intense interest in renewable energy leasing and development on federal lands in California.  Solar development is in the beginning stages, but holds significant promise. 

The proposed Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (Ivanpah SEGS) consists of three concentrating solar-powered steam, electricity generating plants and related facilities, covering about 3,400 acres of public lands in San Bernardino County, 4.5 miles southwest of Primm, Nev.  The project proposes to produce between 100 and 400 megawatts and consists of four applications to BLM for rights-of-way (ROW) for use of the public lands from four components of Solar Partners LLC, based in Oakland, Calif. 

BLM, as the lead agency under the National Environmental Policy Act, will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to analyze the site-specific impacts of the proposed grant of the ROWs and a proposed amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area Plan.  The Energy Commission is the lead California agency for the licensing of thermal power plants over 50 megawatts and for compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act, including preparation of preliminary and final staff assessments.
The NOI initiates the public participation for the EIS and a scoping period of at least 30 days.  At least one public meeting will be held, and announced through the news media and BLM’s website ( The public comments received in this scoping period will be used to prepare a draft EIS that will be published for full public comment and review, along with the Energy Commission’s preliminary staff assessment.
Comments must be submitted in writing to the BLM’s Needles Field Office, attention George R. Meckfessel, Planning and Environmental Coordinator, 1303 South U.S. Highway 95, Needles, Calif., 92363-4228, or by fax (760)326-7099 or by e-mail attention Ivanpah SEGS.
Documents pertinent to this proposal, including comments of respondents, will be available for public review at the BLM Needles Field Office during regular business hours of 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
For further information contact: Needles Field Office, 1303 South U.S. Highway 95, Needles, California 92363-4228, (760) 326-7008, fax (760) 326-7099, or e-mail attention Ivanpah SEGS.