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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
California State Office
 
Release Date: 04/11/14
Contacts: Mike Sintetos (916) 978-4614    
News Release No. CA-14-01

Approval of Ocotillo Sol Solar Facility Includes Measures to Protect Lizard Habitat


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today announced the approval of a solar energy project in Imperial County, California, that is expected to supply a peak output of 20 megawatts of renewable energy, enough to power about 6,000 homes, and support up to 120 construction jobs.

The proposed Ocotillo Sol photovoltaic facility would generate 80-120 construction jobs and more than $90 million in direct, indirect, and induced revenue, including property, sales, and other tax payments to Imperial County. The project would also provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in rental income to the BLM over the life of the facility.

"Ocotillo Sol represents how effective cooperation between industry, government, and the public can strengthen local economies and generate reliable and sustainable power while protecting the public’s natural resources," said BLM California State Director Jim Kenna.

Today's Record of Decision by the BLM approves a right-of-way on public lands for San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) to construct the Ocotillo Sol facility 9 miles southwest of El Centro and 82 miles east of San Diego. Construction is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2014.

Total disturbance would be 102 acres, of which 2 acres would be reclaimed upon completion of construction. The BLM’s selected alternative eliminated 13 acres from the project footprint, avoiding disturbance to habitat for the sensitive flat-tailed horned lizard. SDG&E will be responsible for acquiring 600 acres of flat-tailed horned lizard habitat to compensate for the project’s impacts.

The project would utilize solar panels, 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.

A Notice of Availability for the Ocotillo Sol Final Environmental Impact Statement/Proposed California Desert Conservation Area Plan Amendment was published on July 26, 2013. During the 30-day protest period that followed, no protests were received.

Further details on the project can be found at: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/elcentro/nepa/ocotillosol.html. You may also contact Noel Ludwig, BLM Project Manager, at: (951) 697-5368 or at: nludwig@blm.gov.




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California State Office   2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825  

Last updated: 04-11-2014