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California Desert District
Release Date: 08/06/10
Contacts: David Briery , 951-697-5220  
  Stephen Razo , 951-697-5217  
News Release No. CA-CDD-10-88

BLM Releases Final Environmental Study for Proposed Calico Solar Project

The Bureau of Land Management today released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Calico Solar Project in California’s San Bernardino County.

Calico Solar, LLC initially applied for a right-of-way (ROW) authorization from the BLM to construct and operate a solar energy power plant on 8,230 acres of public land about 37 miles east of Barstow. The project, if authorized, would be among the first commercial thermal solar power projects approved for construction on public lands in the United States.

The proposed 850-megawatt (MW) concentrated solar power plant would provide enough electricity to power about a half-million average California homes. The plant would use SunCatcher™ solar-dish technology designed to automatically track the sun and focus solar energy onto a power conversion unit to generate electricity. The project also includes a new 230- kilovolt (kV) substation, a two-mile, 230-kV connecting transmission line, access roads, and other facilities.

The agency preferred alternative in the FEIS reduces the project footprint to 6,215 acres to avoid impacts to sensitive wildlife such as the desert tortoise, and rare plants and cultural resources.

The project applicant has also submitted an Application for Certification with the California Energy Commission (CEC). The BLM is working closely with the CEC and other state and federal agencies in an unprecedented collaborative effort to better coordinate the renewable energy permitting process.

A Notice of Availability was published by the Environmental Protection Agency in the August 6, 2010, Federal Register.  This notice initiates a 30-day protest period for the proposed amendment to the California Desert Plan, a necessary step before the project could be approved.  Details on filing a protest can be found in the Federal Register Notice or in the Final EIS, available online at

In addition to the protest period, the BLM will also be accepting public comment on the Final EIS for 30 days.  Comments can be sent to Jim Stobaugh, National Project Manager, by mail: Bureau of Land Management, P.O. Box 12000, Reno, NV 89520-0006; or 1340 Financial Blvd, Reno, NV 89502; or email:

Further details can be found at the BLM renewable energy web page: and the CEC web page or by contacting Jim Stobaugh, BLM Project Manager at (775) 861-6478, or email:


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

Last updated: 08-06-2010