Luning Solar Energy Project In Nevada Approved
^Wide open basin with the town of Luning in the distance.
July 4, 2015 - In remote west-central Nevada, Invenergy Solar proposes to construct, operate, and decommission a utility-scale photovoltaic solar generation facility on approximately 560 acres of Bureau of Land Management-administered public land in Mineral County, Nevada.
BLM took recommendations from The Wilderness Society and NV Energy to site this project on what they described as a "low impact" area.
This is not disturbed land and is great habitat for pronghorn. Off site mitigation will not make up for the fact that this habitat will be destroyed. This Luning site is not in a Solar Energy Zone as determined by the lengthy Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, as the developer claimed that no Solar Energy Zone filled its needs. Therefore Invenergy had to go through the variance process to demonstrate to the BLM why they needed another site to develop. The Wilderness Society helped the company dvelop mitigation plans.
BLM approves first solar variance project in Nevada - https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/planAndProjectSite.do?methodName=renderDefaultPlanOrProjectSite&projectId=46840
^Dust storm blowing dust off the dry playa.
^View of the proposed solar project site in open undisturbed Great Basin scrub, with Luning and a playa in the disatnce. Monsoonal rain showers have made the basin green.
^Greasewood is common shrub in the low basin.
^Indian rice grass
^Small annual grama grass blooms after summer rain.
^Playa lake with water.
^Basin scrub and playa.
^Wash in the basin.
^Next to the Luning area and overlooking the solar project site, it the Gabbs Valley Range, a beautiful highland of volcanic rock and pinyon-juniper woodlands with some colorful rock formations.
^Colorful cliffs within view of the solar site.
^Badlands and washes.
^Higher elevations clothed with sagebrush and pinyon-juniper woodland.
^Milkvetch (Astragalus sp.).
^View to the north.
^Trumpet buckwheat (Eriogonum inflatum) blooming, and green galleta grass (Hilaria jamesii).
^Dyebush (Psorothamnus emoryi).
BLM Seeking Comments on Luning Solar nergy Project
May 21, 2015 - Carson City, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carson City District, Stillwater Field Office, has completed the Environmental Assessment (EA) to analyze potential impacts for the Luning Solar Energy Project proposed by Invenergy Solar Development LLC. The proposed location is approximately three miles north of Luning, Nevada, along State Highway 361 in Mineral County, Nevada. The public is invited to comment on the EA through June 8, 2015. Invenergy Solar Development LLC proposes to construct, operate and decommission a utility scale, 50 megawatt name-plate capacity, solar photovoltaic generating facility, on approximately 560 acres of public lands administered by the BLM.
Links to the EA and related documents are located on the BLM website at: http://on.doi.gov/1Imt1Oi
Please send written comments to Angelica Rose, Stillwater Field Office, 5665 Morgan Mill Road, Carson City, NV 89701 or via fax at (775) 885-6147. Comments should include “Luning Solar Project” in the subject line. A hardcopy of the document will be provided upon request. If you have any questions, please contact Angelica Rose or Matt Simons at 775-885-6000.
The area is one Basin & Range Watch visits every year, north of the Excelsior Range, south of the Shoshone Range and near Mina. A remote basin with little industrialization, not a good place for a solar project where photovoltaic panels could easily go on rooftops in urban load centers instead.
See the BLM web page.