BLM issues environmental report on 300-MW Stateline solar project

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, as the lead reviewing agency, recently released for public comment a draft environmental report on the 300-MW Stateline solar project planned for California.

This is a Draft Plan Amendment (PA) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) that analyzes the impacts of Desert Stateline LLC’s proposed Stateline Solar Farm Project. The applicant, a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Solar Development Inc., has filed for a Right-of-Way (ROW) authorization with the BLM to construct, operate, maintain, and eventually decommission an approximately 2,143 acre, 300-MW alternating current (AC) solar photovoltaic (PV) facility.

The plan analyzes the impacts of three alternative configurations of the project, and three additional alternative land use plan amendments. The EIS/EIR also analyzes the impacts of the approval of well permits by San Bernardino County, Calif. In addition to these decisions, the Draft EIS/EIR evaluates the proposed modification by BLM of the boundaries of the existing Ivanpah Desert Wildlife Management Area (DWMA) by adding the Northern Ivanpah Valley Unit to the existing DWMA. The alternatives evaluated in the EIS/EIR include:

  • Alternative 1: The Proposed Action – 300 MW generated on 2,143 acres;
  • Alternative 2: 2,385 Acre Alternative – 300 MW generated on 2,385 acres;
  • Alternative 3: 2,151 Acre Alternative – 300 MW generated on 2,151 acres;
  • Alternative 4: Reduced Acreage Alternative – 232 MW generated on 1,766 acres;
  • Alternative 5: No Action Alternative – No issuance of a ROW Grant, No County Approval, No Land Use Plan (LUP) Amendment;
  • Alternative 6: No Project, Exclude Solar on Site Alternative – No issuance of a ROW Grant, No County Approval, Approval of a LUP Amendment to identify site of the Proposed Action as unsuitable for solar energy development; and
  • Alternative 7: No Project, Approve Solar on Site Alternative – No issuance of a ROW Grant, No County Approval, Approval of a LUP Amendment to identify site of the Proposed Action as suitable for future solar energy development.

This 300-MW project would be in San Bernardino County, near the California-Nevada border at Primm, Nev. The project would be located entirely on public lands managed by the BLM Needles Field Office.

The initial application for a ROW grant for a solar facility on the proposed site was made by OptiSolar Inc. in December 2006. In September 2008, OptiSolar filed a Plan of Development (POD) describing a proposed 380-MW solar facility using OptiSolar’s PV technology. In April 2009, OptiSolar became a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Solar. First Solar filed a Draft POD for its preferred project in April 2010. In that POD, the proposal was for a 300-MW facility using First Solar’s thin film cadmium telluride (CdTe) PV technology.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.