BLM Logo
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
California Desert District
 
Release Date: 11/16/11
Contacts: David Briery , 951-697-5220 or  
  Stephen Razo , 951-697-5217  
News Release No. CDD-12-12

El Centro, Palm Desert Public Meetings Scheduled for Draft Supplement to Solar Energy Development Study


El Centro and Palm Desert public meetings have been scheduled for the federal plan to facilitate responsible utility-scale solar development on public lands in six western states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.  The meetings will be held Dec. 7 in El Centro and Dec. 8 in Palm Desert.  Other meetings will be held Nov. 30 in Las Vegas, Nev. and Dec. 1 in Phoenix, Ariz.

The revised plan, the Supplement to the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Solar Energy Development (Solar PEIS), reinforces and improves upon work to establish meaningful solar energy zones with transmission solutions and incentives for solar energy development within those zones.  The blueprint’s early, comprehensive analysis will ultimately make for faster, better permitting of large-scale solar projects on public lands.

More than 80,000 comments were received on the Draft Solar PEIS, which the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) developed with the Department of Energy and published on Dec. 17, 2010.  After analyzing those comments, gathering additional data, and consulting with cooperating agencies and resource managers, the BLM modified its preferred alternative to include 17 solar energy zones, totaling about 285,000 acres potentially available for development within the zones.  The BLM refined or removed zones that had development constraints or serious resource conflicts. 
 
The modified preferred alternative also establishes a variance process, going forward, that will allow development of well-sited projects outside of solar energy zones on an additional 20 million acres of public land.  BLM Priority Projects that are already being processed will not be subject to the proposed new variance process.

The Dec. 7 meeting will be at 7 p.m. at the Fairfield Inn, 503 East Danenberg Drive, El Centro, CA 92243.  The Dec. 8 meeting will be at 7 p.m. at the Best Western Hotel, 74695 Highway 111, Palm Desert, CA 92260.  The meeting sites will open to the public at 6 p.m. and close after all individuals who wish to speak have been heard.

Comments may be submitted at the public meetings, however, use of the online-comment form at http://solareis.anl.gov is strongly encouraged.    The public comment period closes Jan. 27, 2012.




--BLM--

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

Last updated: 11-16-2011