BLM to write environmental review on 300-MW Arizona solar project

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management office in Arizona said in a notice to be published in the Sept. 20 Federal Register that it intends to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for a 300-MW solar project of Marisol Energy 2 LLC.

The Sept. 20 notice will initiate the public scoping process for the EIS, which determines what issues will be covered in that document.

The applicant, Marisol Energy 2 LLC, has requested a right-of-way authorization to develop and operate the Maricopa Solar Park Project, a photovoltaic (PV) plant with a planned capacity of up to 300 MW. Marisol is a sister company of Italy-based Siderurgica Investimenti. Siderurgica Investimenti is the holding company of an industrial group operating at an international level in the sectors of steel and metal production, renewable energy and natural gas.

The project would be located on about 1,730 acres of BLM-managed land in Maricopa County, about 30 miles southwest of Phoenix. The proposed project would consist of one or more phases, based upon potential power purchase agreement(s) with electric utility companies. The project proposes to use mono/polycrystalline or “thin film” PV modules, which would be mounted on horizontal single-axis trackers or on fixed mounting systems.

The facility would have an onsite high-voltage substation, with high-voltage power transformers stepping up energy to 345-kV. Electrical energy from the onsite switchyard would be delivered to the existing Pinal West Substation through one or two new high-voltage transmission lines, each 2.3-miles long. The facility is proposed to operate for a grant term of 30 years.

Additional permits from federal, state, and local agencies would be required. Since the project is located outside of a solar energy zone identified in the Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement Record of Decision, a variance application was required. Marisol submitted that variance application to the BLM Arizona State Office and the BLM Washington Office. A public information meeting was held in Maricopa, Ariz., on Feb. 5. The BLM Washington Office approved the Marisol variance application in June.

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.