Solar Millennium Blythe Project passes BLM FEIS

DFN: Good news for SM.

BLM Issues Impact Statements for Two More Solar Thermal Plants News

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released the Final Environmental Impact Statements (FEIS) for two more massive solar thermal projects planned for the California desert.

One of them, the Blythe Solar Power Project, proposed by Chevron (NYSE: CVX) and Solar Millennium is a $6 billion project, planned for nearly 1 gigawatt (GW) of power, making it the largest single planned project in the world.

The Blythe project would be built on 7,025 acres of BLM-administered land in eastern Riverside County, California, eight miles west of the city of Blythe and 3 miles north of Interstate 10. The proposed project would consist of four parabolic trough solar-thermal power plants with a total expected capacity of 968 megawatts.

Parabolic trough technology utilizes rows of parabolic mirrors that focus solar energy on collector tubes. The tubes carry heated oil to a boiler, which sends live steam to a turbine. The steam is then fed to a traditional steam turbine generator, which produces electricity.
The other project–also located in Riverside County–is the Genesis Solar Energy Project. Genesis Solar, LLC is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources (NYSE NEE).

The proposed project consists of two independent solar thermal power plants with a capacity of 125 MW each.

The power plants would cover 1,800 acres of public land about 25 miles west of Blythe and north of Interstate 10.

Together with BrightSource Energy’s Ivanpah plant–which received its FEIS earlier this month, the three projects are the first commercial solar power projects approved for construction on public lands in the United States.

The FEIS triggers a initiates a 30-day protest period for the proposed amendment to the California Desert Plan.

Construction on the projects is expected to begin before the end of the year, marking a new stage in U.S. solar development, according to a New York Times article (at the link below.)




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