One of the solar projects open for public comment

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) today released the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Quartzsite Solar Energy Project.

The project is one of two large-scale solar facilities proposed for La Paz County, and is the smaller of the two, involving hundreds of heliostat mirrors directing sunlight toward a central 653-ft tower, heating water, generating steam and turning turbines.

Today begins a 90-day period in which the public can comment on the proposed project and the proposed amendment to the BLM Yuma Field Office Resource Management Plan. The comment period ends Feb. 10, 2012.

Public meetings on the project are scheduled:

Dec. 13
6-8 p.m.
BLM Yuma Field Office
2555 East Gila Ridge Road
Yuma, AZ 85365

Dec. 14
12-2 p.m.
Quartzsite Improvement Association Building
235 East Ironwood Street
Quartzsite, AZ 85346

Quartzsite Solar Energy, LLC, a subsidiary of SolarReserve, LLC, proposes to construct the 100-megawatt solar-powered electrical generation facility here in La Paz County. The project is proposed on 1,675 acres on BLM-administered land 10 miles north of Quartzsite and adjacent to Arizona State Route 95.

In addition to evaluating whether to allow use of the land, the BLM is evaluating a proposal to amend the Yuma Field Office Resource Management Plan, which was adopted in January 2010. The amendment would change the visual resource management class for the proposed site to a category that would allow construction of a tower.

The proposed project and the proposed plan amendment are considered in the draft EIS and are open to public comment. The public can comment on the draft EIS at the public meetings, by mail, or by e-mail.

You may download the entire Environmental Impact Statement by clicking HERE (warning: large download).

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