BLM to write EIS on 100-MW First Solar project in Nevada

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and other federal agencies intend to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) on a proposed photovoltaic (PV) solar project on the Las Vegas Paiute Indian Reservation and a transmission line located on tribal lands, private lands and/or federal lands in Clark County, Nevada.

A notice to be published in the Nov. 19 Federal Register will begin the scoping process to solicit public comments and identify potential issues related to the planned EIS.

The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs is being asked to approve a ground lease and associated agreements entered into by the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe with a subsidiary of First Solar to provide for construction and operation of an up-to 100 MW (ac) facility located entirely on the Las Vegas Paiute Snow Mountain Reservation and specifically on lands held in trust by the United States for the Tribe. The project would interconnect to an adjacent substation via a short 138-kV or 230-kV line that may be located on Tribal lands, private lands and/or federal lands administered and managed by BLM. The proposed solar energy facility, transmission line, and other associated facilities will make up the proposed Snow Mountain Solar Project.

The project would be located in Township 18 South, Range 59 East, Sections 34, 35, and 36 Mount Diablo Meridian, Nevada.

Construction of the project is expected to take approximately 12 to 15 months. First Solar is expected to operate the energy facility for 30 years, with two options to renew the lease for an additional 10 years, if mutually acceptable to the Tribe and First Solar. The project is expected to be built in one phase of up to 100 MW. During construction, the PV panels will be placed on top of fixed-tilt and/or single-axis tracking mounting systems that are set on steel posts embedded in the ground. Other foundation design techniques may be used depending on the site topography and conditions.

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.