Desert Quartzite Solar Project draft environmental analysis available for public comment


Bureau of Land Management, California

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California Desert District Office

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A view of the Desert Quartzite Solar Project proposed site (BLM).MORENO VALLEY, Calif. – The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public input on actions that would allow the proposed development of the Desert Quartzite Solar Project, a 450-megawatt solar development in eastern Riverside County.  

The publication of the draft Environmental Impact Statement in the Federal Register through the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday, Aug. 10 will signal the start of the 90-day public comment period, which will end on Nov. 8.  In addition to the draft EIS, other documents made available for comment include the Environmental Impact Report and draft Land Use Plan Amendment. 

First Solar Development is seeking a right-of-way (ROW) to construct a 450-megawatt solar photovoltaic facility, battery storage, and an approximately 3-mile single circuit 230 kilovolt (kV) generation interconnection (gen-tie) transmission line on approximately 3,800 acres of BLM-managed public lands, near the City of Blythe, in eastern Riverside County.

The proposed project consists of a main generation area, on-site substation, switchyard, site security, transmission line, and an operations and maintenance facility.  If approved, the project would deliver power through the Southern California Edison Colorado River Substation and power approximately 117,000 homes. The project would create approximately 870 jobs during its peak construction period and 10 permanent operational jobs. It could also potentially contribute $72 million annually during its peak construction and $3 million annually during operations. The total project investment amounts to approximately $1 billion.

A series of open house meetings will be held in the Coachella Valley and Blythe area to provide the public the opportunity to learn more about the project, ask questions about the environmental analysis and decision process, discuss concerns, and provide comments. The BLM will notify the public at least 15 days before any public meeting to include the exact times, dates, and locations.  

The BLM is the lead Federal agency for the National Environmental Policy Act review. Riverside County is the lead agency for the California Environmental Quality Act review. The public is encouraged to provide written comments via mail to:  Desert Quartzite Solar Project, Bureau of Land Management, Palm Springs South Coast Field Office, 1201 Bird Center Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92234; or by email to; or by fax to 760-833-7199.

The public is reminded that before including personal address, phone number, email addresses, or other personally identifiable information in submitted comments to be aware that the entire comment, including your personally identifiable information, may be made publicly available at any time.  The public may request that the BLM withhold personally identifiable information from public review, however, the BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so.  

The draft EIS/EIR and draft Land Use Plan Amendment, along with the agency preferred alternative for the Desert Quartzite Solar Project, can be viewed on the BLM ePlanning website at:

For further information, please contact Brandon G. Anderson, BLM project manager, at 760-833-7140, or by email at

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.