First Solar Development clears BLM review of 300-MW project

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will in the Feb. 21 Federal Register announce the availability of the record of decision (ROD)/approved amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area Plan (CDCA Plan) for the Stateline Solar Farm Project.

The Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management, approved the ROD on Feb. 14, which constitutes the final decision of the department.

First Solar Development LLC had filed an application for a right-of-way (ROW) grant authorization to construct, operate, maintain and decommission the 300-MW photovoltaic Stateline Solar Farm Project (SSFP). The proposed project includes access roads, photovoltaic arrays, an electrical substation, meteorological station, monitoring and maintenance facility, water wells, and a 2.3 mile generation tie-line on up to 2,143 acres. The project location is in San Bernardino County, about two miles south of the Nevada-California border and 0.5 miles west of Interstate 15.

The agency-selected alternative consists of a 300-MW solar PV facility encompassing 1,685 acres on a single, contiguous footprint.

The CDCA Plan, while recognizing the potential compatibility of solar energy generation facilities with other uses on public lands, requires that all sites associated with power generation or transmission not already identified in the plan be considered through the BLM’s land use plan amendment process. As a result, prior to approval of a ROW grant for the SSFP, the BLM must amend the CDCA Plan to allow the solar energy generating project on that site. The approved amendment to the CDCA Plan specifically revises the plan to allow for the development of the SSFP and ancillary facilities on land managed by the BLM.

A notice of availability of the proposed plan amendment/final EIS for the SSFP was published in the Federal Register on Nov. 15, 2013.

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.