Agency issues draft EIS on 700-MW California solar project

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) in response to an application from Maricopa Sun LLC for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act for a 700-MW project in California.

The agency said in a notice to be published in the May 28 Federal Register that it will take 90 days of public comment on the draft EIS. There is also a draft Maricopa Sun Solar Complex Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for review.

The application addresses the proposed incidental take of five animal species proposed as “covered species” within a 5,784-acre permit area during a proposed permit term of 35 years. The applicant has prepared the draft HCP to describe and implement a conservation plan that will minimize and mitigate environmental effects associated with the construction, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning of an up to 700-MW photovoltaic facility in Kern County, Calif.

Construction of this project would take place during a period of up to 15 years, though 8-10- years is considered the base construction timeline. Construction of the project will occur in a series of approximately 1-MW blocks.

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.