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California Desert District
Release Date: 11/24/09
Contacts: David Briery , (951) 697-5220  
  Steve Razo , (951) 697-5217  
News Release No. CA-CDD-10-16

BLM/Energy Commission Seek Public Input on Palen/Blythe Solar Projects

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) are inviting the public to an information/scoping meeting on Friday, Dec. 11, 2009, in Palm Desert on a proposal from Chevron Energy Solutions and Solar Millennium (CESSM) to build two solar thermal power plants on public lands near Desert Center (Palen) and Blythe in eastern Riverside County, Calif.

The meeting will be held on the University of California Riverside-Palm Desert Campus, 75080 Frank Sinatra Dr., from 1 to 4 p.m.  At a later date, BLM and the CEC will conduct a public site visit and informational hearing concerning the projects, with details yet to be finalized.

CESSM has applied to the BLM for two right-of-ways on public land to construct, operate, and maintain two solar thermal power plants with an expected combined capacity of 1,452 megawatts (MW) and utilizing approximately 10,100 acres public land.

The proposed Palen site is approximately 10 miles east of Desert Center, Calif. and a half mile north of Interstate 10.  The project expects to generate approximately 484 MW of electricity and proposes a project footprint aggregating approximately 3,800 acres. The proposed Blythe site is approximately eight miles west of Blythe, Calif. and three miles north of Interstate 10.  The project will generate approximately 968 MW of electricity and proposes a project footprint aggregating approximately 6,300 acres.

The BLM published a notice of intent in the Federal Register on Nov. 23, 2009, to prepare two joint draft environmental impact statements (DEIS)/draft land use plan amendments and preliminary staff assessments (PSA) for the proposed power plants.  Publication of the NOI initiates a public scoping period of 30 days, ending Dec. 23, 2009.  During the scoping period, the public is invited to identify and comment on issues, concerns, potential impacts, alternatives, and mitigation measures that should be considered in the analysis of the proposed action.   The BLM and CEC will use public scoping comments to prepare the draft environmental documents that will be available for public review.

The DEIS/PSA is a collaborative effort between the BLM, as the lead agency under the National Environmental Policy Act, and the California Energy Commission (CEC), as the lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act.   

Public comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

• Standard Mail: 
For the CEC: Alan Soloman, Project Manager, Siting, Transmission and Environmental Protection Division, 1516 Ninth Street, MS–15, Sacramento, CA 95814
For the BLM: Allison Shaffer, Project Manager, Palm Springs South Coast Field Office, 1201 Bird Center Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
• Email:
       For the CEC:
       For the BLM:, for the proposed Palen project, or, for the proposed Blythe project.
• Fax:
       For the BLM: (760) 833-7199, attention Allison Shaffer, re: Palen (or) Blythe Solar    Project.

For further details on the proposed solar energy projects, please visit: (for the proposed Palen project) or (for the proposed Blythe project) or


California Desert District   22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553  

Last updated: 11-24-2009