News Release

For Release:  March 19, 2008                                                             
Contact:  Stephen Razo 951-697-5217; email: srazo@ca.blm.gov
CA-CDD-08-40

BLM, San Bernardino County Agree to Joint Review of Solar, Wind Energy Projects

The Bureau of Land Management has developed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with San Bernardino County that ensures the county and BLM will work hand-in-hand in environmental reviews and public participation on renewable energy projects in the county.

Although proposed projects are mostly on federal public lands, the county has jurisdiction if they include private land or require county permits. In either case, the county will be a formal partner in sharing information and developing reviews.
 
“This agreement is a testament to the positive and productive partnership we enjoy with San Bernardino County,” states Steven J. Borchard, BLM California Desert District (CDD) manager. “We value the input the county will be providing as we move forward with alternative energy projects across the California desert.”

San Bernardino County Supervisor, Brad Mitzelfelt’s First District, includes much of the Mojave Desert, and a majority of the alternative energy projects are proposed for his district. The two primary types of solar projects are photovoltaic, those that convert light energy directly to electricity, and solar thermal, projects that use the sun’s energy to create steam and turn a power turbine. The county is the lead agency for large-scale photovoltaic projects. Solar thermal projects that generate more than 50 megawatts are under the jurisdiction of the California Energy Commission. San Bernardino County has been the proving ground for such solar thermal projects with power plants at Daggett and a successful long-running plant at Kramer Junction.

As of January 2008, the CDD has received more than 80 solar energy applications from numerous companies, some filing multiple applications, and others filing overlapping applications for solar power generation facilities using several solar energy technologies. Over 60 wind energy applications have been received in which most are to commence a three year wind test period.


 -BLM-

California Desert District Office – 22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553- (951) 697-5217