BLM initiates environmental review of two proposed solar projects on public lands in Riverside County
If approved, the Arica and Victory Pass solar projects would result in an estimated combined private infrastructure investment of $689 million, $5.9 million in annual operational economic benefit, and together power
approximately 132,000 homes
MORENO VALLEY, Calif. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is initiating environmental review and seeks public scoping comments on two proposed solar projects near Desert Center in eastern Riverside County.
Arica Solar, LLC and Victory Pass I, LLC seek authorization to construct two photovoltaic solar projects on public lands. Each project would be approximately 2,000 acres in size, generate up to 265 MW of electricity with up to 200 MW of battery storage, and be sited entirely on BLM-managed public lands. The Arica and Victory Pass solar projects would result in an estimated combined private infrastructure investment of $689 million, $5.9 million in annual operational economic benefit, and together power approximately 132,000 homes.
The proposed projects would be located within areas analyzed and identified as suitable for renewable energy development as part of BLM’s Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan Land Use Plan Amendment. Project information and maps are located at https://go.usa.gov/xGw6u (for Arica project) and https://go.usa.gov/xGwFc (for Victory Pass project). Links may need to be copied and pasted into a browser.
The BLM is the lead federal agency for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review and is responsible for deciding whether to grant, grant with modifications or deny the right-of-way applications. California Department of Fish and Wildlife separately intends to produce an Environmental Impact Report for the projects as the lead agency for the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review.
A virtual public meeting will be held on October 21 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. in accordance with NEPA and CEQA to inform interested parties about the proposed projects and how to provide written comments on the scope and content of the environmental reviews. The virtual public meeting will also provide an opportunity for the public to ask questions about the projects. Meeting materials will be available for previewing at 5:00 p.m. on October 21. The meeting can be accessed by following this link:
Meeting ID: 996 0345 4559
The public is invited to submit written comments on issues, concerns, potential impacts, alternatives and mitigation measures that should be considered as part of BLM’s project review. Substantive written comments must be submitted to the BLM by November 1, 2020 using one of the following methods:
1. Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Mail comments to Arica Solar and Victory Pass Solar Projects, Attn: Miriam Liberatore
Bureau of Land Management, 3040 Biddle Road, Medford, OR 97504.
3. Submit electronically through the Arica Solar link https://go.usa.gov/xGw6u and the
Victory Pass Solar link https://go.usa.gov/xGwFc ePlanning webpages. Links may need to be copied and pasted into a browser.
The BLM will use all substantive scoping comments to prepare the environmental documents, which will be available for public review later this year. For more information, please contact BLM project manager Miriam Liberatore at 541-618-2200, or by email at email@example.com.
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.