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California Desert District
Release Date: 10/25/11
Contacts: David Briery , (951) 697-5220 and  
  Steve Razo , (951) 697-5217  
News Release No. CDD-12-6

BLM to Prepare Supplemental Environmental Study for Solar Project East of Barstow

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), California Desert District, announced today its intent to prepare a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for an amendment to the right-of-way (ROW) grant for the K Road Calico Solar Project in San Bernardino County east of Barstow, Calif.  The BLM will provide a 45-day public comment period upon publication of the Supplemental Draft EIS.
K Road is seeking approval to construct and operate an electrical generating facility with a nominal capacity of approximately 664 megawatts (MW). The project would use photovoltaic (PV) panels and may include some solar thermal power. Approximately 4,604 acres of BLM-administered public land and 9 acres of privately owned land are needed to develop the project. K Road has submitted an application to the BLM requesting to amend its ROW grant to change portions of the approved facility from 100 percent SunCatcher technology to PV technology and potentially some SunCatcher technology.

On Oct. 20, 2010, the BLM approved the Calico Solar ROW grant, which would develop a solar thermal energy generating facility in a project area north of Interstate 40 between Newberry Springs and Hector, 37 miles east of Barstow. The grant holder, K Road Calico Solar, LLC has applied to the BLM for a ROW grant amendment on public lands to construct the solar facility in two phases including a change in technology: Phase 1 (275 MW and 1,863 acres) would consist of PV panels, an access road, a central services complex, an on-site substation, and an underground water utility line. Phase 2 (2,750 acres, 389 MW) would consist of PV panels and may include some SunCatcher technology.

Construction would begin in early 2013. Although construction would take approximately 48 months to complete, renewable energy power would be available to the grid as each phase is completed. The facility would be expected to operate for about 20 years.  A new 230-kiloVolt (kV) substation would be built in the center of the project area and would connect to the existing Pisgah Substation via an approximately two-mile long single-circuit, 230-kV transmission line.

The 2010 Final EIS and Proposed Amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area Plan for the Calico Solar Project considered this type of technology but did not analyze it in detail. The Supplemental Draft EIS will analyze this alternative in detail, including any additional site-specific impacts resulting from the change in technology and additional ancillary facilities or relocation of facilities. A certificate designating approval by the California Energy Commission must be obtained by K Road before it may construct the portion of Phase two involving “SunCatcher” solar facilities.

Further information is available on the BLM Barstow Field Office website, or by contacting Joan Patrovsky, (760) 252-6000, or


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

Last updated: 10-25-2011