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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
California Desert District Office
 
Release Date: 08/05/14
Contacts: Stephen Razo 951-697-5217; email: srazo@blm.gov    
News Release No. CA-CDD-14-54

Interior Department Approves Amendment for the Blythe Solar Power Project in California


Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management Janice M. Schneider signed a Record of Decision approving a change in technology for the Blythe Solar Power Project on Friday, August 1, 2014.

The amended project will have a capacity of 485 megawatts and will occupy 4,138 acres of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Riverside County roughly 8 miles west of Blythe and 3 miles north of Interstate 10. The original project was approved in October 2010 with an original capacity of 1,000 megawatts and a footprint of 6,831 acres.

NextEra Blythe Solar Energy Center, LLC requested a modification from the BLM in August 2011 to amend the right-of-way grant for the approved project to use photovoltaic technology instead of the thermal parabolic trough technology originally approved in the 2010 Record of Decision.

"As amended, Blythe Solar is still one of the five largest solar projects approved," said Assistant Secretary Schneider. "It remains a major milestone in our nation's renewable energy history, showing that we can adapt to changing market conditions to compete and lead in the renewable energy economy."

The requested change in technology required the preparation of a new EIS in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. The EIS analyzed the site-specific impacts of the proposed variance on air quality, biological resources, climate change, cultural resources, hazards and public health, lands and realty, mineral resources, noise, paleontological resources, recreation and special designations, socioeconomics and environmental justice, soil resources, traffic and travel management, visual resources, water resources, and wildland fire ecology. A Final EIS was released for public comment on May 30, 2014, and the comment period closed on June 30, 2014.

Further details on the proposed modification can be found at: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/palmsprings/Solar_Projects/Blythe_Solar_Power_Project.html.




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

Last updated: 08-08-2014