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California Desert District
Release Date: 08/05/11
Contacts: Stephen Razo , 951-697-5217  
  David Briery , 951-697-5220  
News Release No. CDD-11-65

BLM Announces Final Environmental Document for Rice Solar Energy Project in Riverside County

The BLM today released final environmental documents for the proposed 150-megawatt Rice Solar Energy Project in Riverside County, Calif.  The proposed project would provide enough electricity to power 45,000 homes.

Rice Solar Energy, LLC’s proposed project is a commercial solar thermal electric power plant utilizing thermal “power tower” technology. The solar generation facility is located on privately owned land and the new 10-mile long 230-kV generator tie-line, interconnect substation, and access road would cross public land managed by the BLM. Prior to BLM’s issuance of a Right of Way (ROW) Grant, the project will require an amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan.

A new 10-mile long 230-kV generator tie-line would extend from the solar facility to a new substation to be constructed adjacent to Western’s existing Parker-Blythe transmission line. The solar facility site is in an undeveloped area of the Sonoran Desert, on private land, in eastern Riverside County, California, near State Route 62, approximately 40 miles north of Blythe, California, and 15 miles southwest of Vidal Junction, California.  The FEIS can be reviewed at

The Notice of Availability for the Proposed CDCA Plan Amendment/Final Environmental Abbreviated Impact Statement (FEIS) released today is a joint document between the Western Area Power Administration, the BLM and the California Energy Commission.  The Environmental Protection Agency published a Notice of Availability for the FEIS on Friday, June 10, 2011 announcing the opening of the comment period, but failed to include or publish information about the protest period associated with the CDCA Plan Amendment.  By this Notice, BLM is publishing the required protest information.  Protests must be filed by September 6, 2011.

Instructions for filing a protest with the Director of the BLM regarding the RSEP project are at 43 CFR 1610.5-2 as well as in the Federal Register Notice for this NOA.  For further information contact Jeffery Childers, NEPA Planning Coordinator (951) 697-5200.


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

Last updated: 08-05-2011