The Arizona Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Committee, in a July 19 procedural order, said that a hearing will be held in August in Parker, Ariz., on DCR Transmission, L.L.C.’s (DCRT) application for a certificate of environmental compatibility authorizing the Cielo Azul 500-kV Switchyard Project (Docket No. L-21088A-21-0262-00191).
As noted in the filing, the hearing will be held at the Havasu Springs Resort on Aug. 31, and will continue, as necessary, on Sept. 1-3, beginning at 9 a.m., each day. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the public is strongly encouraged to participate by either watching the meeting online or listening to the meeting via telephone, instead of attending in person, the filing said.
According to the July 15 application, DCRT is seeking authority to build the six-bay air insulated switchyard and associated infrastructure in La Paz County, Ariz., to provide electrical interconnection for solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery energy storage facilities connecting to the bulk transmission network via the Ten West Link 500-kV transmission line.
The right of way (ROW) for the project is part of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) La Paz County Land Conveyance completed in 2019 under Section 1008 of the John D Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, approved by Congress to promote economic development in the county. La Paz County has leased the bulk of that land to the developer of the Atlas Solar project for the construction of that project, which is a proposed 3,200-MW solar plus 1,950-MW energy storage project that has executed a FERC-filed large generator interconnection agreement to interconnect with the Ten West Link.
Among other things, the application also said that there is no residential, commercial, or other existing development on the project site, and that the project site is not located in Sonoran Desert tortoise habitat or in any bighorn sheep lambing areas.
Access to the project will be provided largely by existing roads, including Hovatter Road, AT&T Frontage Road, and Connector Road, south of I-10. An extension of the existing Ten West Link access road will be built to enter directly into the Cielo Azul switchyard to allow for construction, operations, and maintenance, the application said.
As noted in the application, DCRT is a joint venture led by Starwood Energy Group Global, Inc., which is an affiliate of Starwood Capital.