BLM greenlights construction of solar energy project
Amending right-of-way grant allows development of the Sonoran Solar Energy Project
PHOENIX — The Bureau of Land Management’s Lower Sonoran Field Office has approved an amendment request for a right of way to Sonoran Solar Energy, LLC. Following a finding of no significant impact, the BLM’s decision approves adding battery storage to planned solar energy infrastructure in the west end of Little Rainbow Valley, south of Buckeye.
“Developing renewable energy is an administration priority,” said Phoenix District Manager Leon Thomas. “This right-of-way will facilitate that renewable energy development on public lands.”
The Sonoran Solar Energy Project right-of-way covers a total of 3,320 acres, most of which is on public land. The project will include photovoltaic arrays, support structures, energy storage, and a generation tie (gen-tie) line to connect to a Salt River Project (SRP) utility substation. The project is expected to produce 260 megawatts of electricity and 260 megawatts of energy storage — enough to power 91,000 homes — which will allow for consistent energy delivery during peak hours when the system may not be generating energy. According to SRP, Sonoran Solar will be the largest solar-charged battery project in the state, when completed.
Sonoran Solar Energy, LLC (formerly Boulevard Associates, LLC) received the initial right-of-way grant in 2012 following a final environmental impact statement and record of decision.
The decision record, final environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for the amendment are available on the BLM’s ePlanning website.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.