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California Desert District Office
Release Date: 08/30/13
Contacts: Stephen Razo (951) 697-5217    
News Release No. CA-CDD-13-51

BLM Announces Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Blythe Solar Power Project

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Right of Way Amendment for the Blythe Solar Power Project, Riverside County, CA.

The Blythe Solar Power Project (BSPP) was fully permitted and approved as a 1,000 megawatt (MW) solar thermal generating plant in 2010. NextEra Blythe Solar Energy Center, LLC (NBSEC) purchased the fully permitted (un-built) project assets in mid-2012 and now proposes to modify the technology and reduce the size of the project entirely within the approved BSPP footprint.

The Applicant is proposing to construct, operate, maintain, and decommission the BSPP using photovoltaic (PV) technology with a 485 MW capacity on 4,138 acres of BLM-administered public land. An amendment to the existing ROW authorization has been submitted to reduce the acreage of the project, change the technology from concentrating solar trough to photovoltaic, adjust the project layout per the new technology and reduce the projects capacity from 1,000 to 485 megawatts. On August 22, 2012, BLM approved the assignment of the ROW Grant from the prior holder, Palo Verde Solar I, LLC, to NBSEC. The Project area is located 8 miles west of Blythe and three miles north of Interstate 10 (I-10).

The BLM, as the lead agency under the National Environmental Policy Act, will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the site-specific impacts of the proposed amendment to the existing ROW. The EIS will analyze the site-specific change to impacts on air quality, biological resources, cultural resources, water resources, geological resources and hazards, hazardous materials handling, land use, noise, wilderness characteristics, visual resources, transmission system engineering, and transmission line safety.

Publication of the NOI initiates a public scoping period of 30 days ending September 29. During the scoping period, the BLM will solicit public comments on environmental issues, potential changes to impacts, alternatives, and mitigation measures that should be considered in the analysis of the right of way amendment.

A scoping meeting for the Modified Blythe Solar Power Project will be held on Tuesday, September 17, 2013, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Community Room at Blythe City Hall, 235 N. Broadway, Blythe, California 92225.

Further details on the proposed BSPP project can be found at the following website: For information contact Frank McMenimen (760) 833-7150 or e-mail


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

Last updated: 08-30-2013