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Release Date: 06/28/10
Contacts: David Quick , 202-912-7413  
  Doran Sanchez , 775-861-6629  

"Fast-Track" BLM Geothermal Project Announced in Nevada

The Bureau of Land Management Battle Mountain District recently approved a geothermal “fast-track” project for Ormat Technologies, allowing the company to begin construction on the Jersey Valley Project located in Pershing County, Nevada. The geothermal development will cover approximately 8,470 acres of land, of which 7,460 are managed by the BLM. When completed, the facility will include a 30-megawatt (MW) power plant, a geothermal well field, and a 120-kilowatt transmission line.    

“The State of Nevada has positioned itself in the forefront in this Administration’s quest to develop a New Energy Frontier for Americans,” said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. “This Jersey Valley project should be completed and producing clean energy in about six months, and I couldn’t be more pleased.”

The first phase of the development, for which the BLM’s Decision Record was signed on June 4, includes construction of a 15-MW plant. Commercial operation of the plant is expected to begin by late 2010. A second plant, providing additional generation capacity, may be built the following year. Ormat Technologies obtained a Power Purchase Agreement with Nevada Power Company in 2006 and began conducting geothermal exploration activities at Jersey Valley in 2007. 

Jersey Valley is the BLM’s second geothermal fast-track project in Nevada. The Blue Mountain plant, located in Humboldt County, Nevada, came online in October 2009. The 49.5-MW plant encompasses a total of 11,120 acres, including 5,262 acres of public lands. Overall, Nevada has a total of 11 geothermal plants, three of which are located on BLM-managed public lands, which produce more than 325 MW of electricity and in turn power more than 200,000 homes in the state.

“This is an important step toward building our clean energy economy and helping meet the challenge of climate change,” said BLM Director Bob Abbey. “The Jersey Valley Project is another example of how we are taking steps that are good for the environment and good for the economy." 

The BLM Fast-Track projects are those where the companies involved have demonstrated to the BLM that they have made sufficient progress to formally start the environmental review and public participation process. These projects could potentially be cleared by December 2010, thus making them eligible for economic stimulus funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. There are 34 national fast-track projects – 14 solar, 7 wind, 6 geothermal, and 7 transmission lines.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Last updated: 06-28-2010