Extend the Deadlines!
November 27, 2009 -
Well the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been real busy bending over backwards for the energy developers! It would seem that they want the least available comments from public land owners by scheduling public meeting and comment deadlines right before Christmas…when the fewest people submit comments! The projects are being rushed through so quickly, that there will be hardly any information available about the projects before the deadlines are up! Below is a list of contact e-mails for specific fast tracked projects that promise to change the scenic and diverse quality of our deserts forever. Please take a look at each one of these projects, click on the e-mail addresses below and take some time to ask the BLM the comment deadlines to the middle of February.
The current list of fast tracking projects:
NextEra Ford Dry Lake Solar Power Plant/Genesis Solar Energy Project (Riverside County, CA) -- CAPSSolarNextEraFPL@blm.gov
Chevron Energy Solutions/Solar Millennium Palen Solar Power Plant (Riverside County, CA) -- CAPSSolarPalen@blm.gov
Chevron Energy Solutions/Solar Millennium Blythe Solar Power Plant (Riverside County, CA -- CAPSSolarBlythe@blm.gov
First Solar Desert Sunlight Power Project (Riverside County, CA) -- no place to send comments
Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, California -- (Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, Kern, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Inyo, Riverside, Imperial, San Diego, and Tulare Counties) -- DRECP@blm.gov
Link to all Federal Register Notices:
Write Bureau of Land Management and tell them to extend the deadlines for public comment on these projects!
As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 the U.S. Department of Treasury released detailed guidance on the renewable energy grant program. Under the program, eligible participants can elect to receive cash payments for certain capital expenses associated with renewable energy projects, including wind and solar property, in lieu of receiving the production or investment tax credits currently available under the Internal Revenue Code. For largescale wind and solar projects, cash grants are available for 30% of construction costs. The cash grant is only available for qualifying property that is placed in service before December 31, 2010, or is at least under construction by that date. A project is considered "placed in service" when it has been installed, tested, and is ready and capable of being used for its intended purpose. Property that is under construction as of December 31, 2010, is eligible for the program if the applicant provides the Treasury with copies of the construction contract and evidence that significant work has begun on the project. All applicants will have until October 1, 2011, to apply for grants.
While we support certain forms of renewable energy, especially local urban projects that do not scrape up pristine desert habitats and block wildlife movement corridors, we do not support these projects. In every case they have been inappropriately placed to maximize nearness to existing powerlines and natural gas pipelines (many solar power plants require natural gas burners), with no regard to tortoise habitat, bighorn sheep areas, rare plants, or bat and bird migration ranges.
The Bureau of Land Management on November 23, 2009, released a Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Tonopah Solar Energy, LLC Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in Nye County, Nevada.
Tonopah Solar Energy, LLC has submitted a right-of-way application to the BLM to build a solar power generation facility, with a net generating capacity of up to 180 megawatts (MW) of electricity from a power tower solar thermal plant. It would occupy about 1,600
acres of public land, northwest of Tonopah, Nevada.
The heliostat array would be a circular field with a radius of approximately 4,400 feet. The proposed array would consist of approximately 17,350 heliostats, each approximately 670 square feet in size. The heliostats would be arranged in arcs around the central solar
receiver or tower. The central solar receiver or tower would be a concrete structure, approximately 538 feet high, supporting a cylindrical receiver, approximately 95 feet tall. The total height of the receiver would be approximately 633 feet.
A hybrid cooling system would be employed at the site. The hybrid cooling system would consist of an air-cooled condenser augmented with a wet cooling system designed to minimize water consumption. The proposal includes a thermal storage system using liquid salt held in tanks to store solar heat energy for later steam generation, as well as
associated pumps and piping.
The bulk of the electric power produced by the facility would be transmitted to the electric grid under the control of the Sierra Pacific Power Company, doing business as NV Energy, and delivered to the Anaconda 230-kilovolt (kV) Substation, located about 8 miles north
of the site. A high voltage overhead transmission line would be constructed to deliver power from the plant switchyard to the Anaconda substation. It is proposed that the new transmission line would parallel an existing transmission line that crosses the northwest
corner of the site. Access to the site would be provided from State Route 89. The proposed project would be designed for a life of 30 years.
COMMENTS: the deadline is December 24, 2009. Check http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/battle_mountain_field.html, for scoping meetings.
Send comments to:
Fax: (775) 482-7810 (attention: Tim Coward)
Mail: Bureau of Land Management, Tonopah Field Office, Attn: Tim Coward, Project Manager, 1553 South Main Street, P.O. Box 911, Tonopah, NV 89049.
For questions phone: Tim Coward, (775) 482-7800.
[Federal Register: November 23, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 224), Page 61168-61169, wais.access.gpo.gov]
Another Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement was dropped for the for proposed Solar Millennium Ridgecrest Solar Power Project in Kern County, California.
Solar Millennium, LLC, wants to build a parabolic trough, solar thermal, generating facility with a capacity of 250 megawatts. The project would connect to the existing Southern
California Edison 230-kilovolt (kV) Inyokern/Kramer Junction
transmission line. About a mile long portion of this 230 kV
transmission line and about a mile long portion of a 115 kV line would be realigned to avoid the project area. The approximately 3,920-acre proposed Right-Of-Way would contain two solar fields, a power block,
construction areas, a dry-cooling tower, steel transmission towers with associated transmission lines, access roads, three covered water tanks, an underground water pipeline, a water treatment facility, an electrical switchyard, a land treatment unit for bioremediation of any soil that may be contaminated by heat transfer fluid, an office, a
warehouse, a parking lot, and facility perimeter fencing.
The project would be located approximately five miles southwest of the city of Ridgecrest in Kern County, California. The area is prime Desert tortoise habitat.
COMMENTS: the deadline is December 23, 2009. Check
http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/solar_millennium_ridgecrest/index.html, for scoping meetings.
Send comments to:
E-mail: CARSPP@blm.gov or email@example.com.
Fax: BLM (951) 697-5299 or CEC (916) 654-3882.
Mail: BLM California Desert District, 22835 Calle San Juan de los Lagos, Moreno Valley, California 92553, Attn: Janet Eubanks; or California Energy Commission, 1516 Ninth Street, MS-15, Sacramento, California, 95814, Attn: Eric Solorio.
Contact Janet Eubanks, Project Manager, at (951) 697-5376; or 22835 Calle San Juan de los Lagos, Moreno Valley, California 92553; or e-mail Janet_Eubanks@ca.blm.gov.
[Federal Register: November 23, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 224), Page 61166-61167, wais.access.gpo.gov]
The Proposed Daggett Ridge Wind Farm would lie on use 1,577 acres of BLM-managed
land and 380 acres of private property, southeast of Barstow in San Bernardino County, California. AES Wind Generation wants to build a total of 33 wind turbines, 28 on BLM-managed land and five on private land, providing a maximum of 82.5 MW. The project would include approximately 10 miles of new roads.
It would also include one substation on private land. The project would require the BLM to approve an amendment to Southern California Edison's current Slash X ROW to allow telecommunication use. It would also require the BLM to approve two amendments to the Boulder Canyon Project permit to allow: (1) The construction and installation
of additional poles within the existing ROW for telecommunication use; and (2) a new 500-foot line from the proposed Seaggett Substation, which would include the replacement of one pole on BLM-managed land. The proposed project would involve new or expanded utility corridors.
COMMENTS: due December 23, 2009. Check http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/cdd.html.
Send comments to:
Fax: (951) 697-5299.
Mail: ATTN: Lynnette Elser, BLM California Desert District Office, 22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, California 92553-9046.
Contact Lynnette Elser, telephone (951) 697-5233.
[Federal Register: November 20, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 223), Page 60290-60291, wais.access.gpo.gov]
Released by BLM on November 20, 2009, was a Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, Kern, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Inyo, Riverside, Imperial, San Diego, and
The BLM, California Department of Fish and Game, the California Energy Commission, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, propose to develop the DRECP to advance State and Federal conservation goals in the Mojave and Colorado desert regions in California, while also facilitating the timely permitting of renewable energy projects under applicable State and Federal laws.
Specifically, the planning goals for the DRECP include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Provide for the long-term conservation and management of identified species in the planning area;
- Preserve, restore, and enhance natural communities and ecosystems that support identified species in the planning area;
- Build on the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones identified by the State's Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative that depict areas where renewable energy generation project permitting may be expedited;
- Identify the most appropriate locations in the planning area for the development of utility-scale renewable energy projects, taking into account potential impacts to threatened and endangered species, sensitive natural communities, and cultural resources;
- Coordinate and standardize mitigation and compensation requirements for renewable energy activities in the planning area;
- Develop an efficient process for authorizing renewable energy projects in the planning area that results in greater conservation values than the process provided by project-by-project or species-by-species reviews.
The purpose of the public scoping process is to determine relevant issues that will influence the scope of the environmental analysis, including alternatives, and guide the process for developing the EIS. The BLM has identified the following preliminary issues: Special status species, mitigation measures for special status species, vegetation
communities, cultural resources, special area designations, and areas of high potential for renewable energy development.
Authorization of this proposal may require amendment of the California Desert Conservation Area Plan.
COMMENTS: due December 21, 2009.
Send comments to:
Web site: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/cdd.html.
Fax: (916) 978-4657.
Mail: ATTN: DRECP, BLM California State Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1623, Sacramento, California 95825.
Documents pertinent to this proposal may be examined at the BLM California State office or the BLM California Desert District office, 22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, California 92553-9046.
Contact Amy Fesnock, Project Manager, telephone (916) 978-4646.
[Federal Register: November 20, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 223), Page 60291-60292, wais.access.gpo.gov]
For BLM's Fast-Tracking site see:
^Colorado River mountains and Palo verde washes south of Blythe, California.