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California Desert District
Release Date: 07/15/11
Contacts: David Briery , 951-697-5220  
  Stephen Razo , 951-697-5217  
News Release No. CA-CDD-11-52

BLM Initiates Environmental Review of Solar Project Near El Centro

The Bureau of Land Management today announced the beginning of an environmental review of a proposed solar energy project in Imperial County, Calif. San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) has applied to the BLM for a right-of-way on public lands to construct the Ocotillo Sol project, a solar photovoltaic power plant facility on approximately 115 acres about nine miles southwest of El Centro and 82 miles east of San Diego.

If approved by the BLM, the project would be a peak 20-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic project.  The project would be built in a single phase and would connect to the existing SDG&E Imperial Valley Substation to its immediate north via a buried 12.47-kilovolt cable. Construction is planned to begin in late spring 2012.

The BLM will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.  The EIS will analyze the site-specific impacts on air quality, biological resources, cultural resources, water resources, geological resources and hazards, hazardous materials handling, land use, noise, visual resources, and transmission system engineering and transmission line safety.

The announcement today initiates a public scoping period of 30 days, ending August 15, 2011  During the scoping period, BLM solicits public comment on issues, concerns, potential impacts, alternatives, and mitigation measures that should be considered in the analysis of the proposed action.  The dates and locations of any scoping meetings will be announced at least 15 days in advance through local media, newspapers, and the BLM website. BLM will use the public scoping comments received to prepare the draft environmental documents to be available for public review later this year.

Further details on the proposed solar energy project can be found at:  You may also contact Noel Ludwig, BLM Project Manager, at or (951) 697-5368.


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

Last updated: 07-15-2011