Western Area Power Admin. signs off on 180-MW solar project

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Western Area Power Administration (Western) issued on Oct. 28 a finding of no significant impact on the transmission line for a 180-MW solar photovoltaic project in Nevada.

Western was responding to an interconnection and land grant request by KOWEPO America LLC for the Townsite Solar Power facility and a 2.75-mile-long, 230-kV generation tie line from the facility to the administration’s Mead Substation. The interconnection request is for a maximum of 180 MW generated by photovoltaic panels. Based on the site’s solar regime, the proposed facility will have an average annual output of 40 MW.

The land grant is for a 2.75-mile-long, 200-foot-wide corridor across WAPA land. The planned facilities are located four miles southwest of Boulder City in Clark County, Nev.

Western cooperated with the lead federal agency, which was the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, in preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) that analyzed the Townsite Solar Facility, associated spur roads, geotechnical testing, four alternative transmission line routes, three of which crossed BLM land, and a no action alternative.

Said the Oct. 28 finding: “Based on the analysis contained in DOE/EA-1960, Western determined that its action to approve the interconnection request and issue a land grant does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment within the meaning of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Therefore, preparation of an environmental impact statement is not required.”

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.