Bureau of Land Management Solar Energy Program Western Solar Plan
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California Solar News and Announcements


October 12, 2015

Riverside East SEZ Solar Long-Term Monitoring and Adaptive Management Pilot Project: Webinar October 28 from 9-11 AM Pacific Time

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will host a public webinar on Wednesday, October 28, 2015, from 9-11 am Pacific Time to discuss the Riverside East Solar Energy Zone Monitoring and Adaptive Management Strategy. The BLM will present its recently completed draft monitoring plan for the Riverside East SEZ and provide an open forum for discussion, questions, comments, and clarifications.

The draft monitoring plan will be posted to the Project Website the week of October 18th. Please review the document prior to the webinar if possible.

The dial-in number for the webinar is: 1-888-850-4523; Passcode 876166.

Instructions for the webinar meeting:

  1. URL is: https://bluejeans.com/663121813/9803
  2. Meeting ID: 663121813
  3. Participant Passcode: 9803
  4. Users should load bluejeans before the webinar.
  5. Choose “computer” option.
  6. Choose the “Don't Send Only Receive” option after logging into the webinar
  7. Click off the video and microphone icons on the right side of the screen after logging into the webinar.

If you are planning to participate, please RVSP to: lfox@anl.gov.

For more information contact Mike Sintetos, BLM Program Manager, at 916-978-4639 or msintetos@blm.gov.


April 17, 2014

BLM Extends Public Comment Period on Proposed Solar Project in San Bernardino County

The public comment period for the proposed Silurian Valley solar project has been extended. Public comments are now due by May 28, 2014.

A public comment meeting was held on March 27, 2014, to solicit comments from public agencies and the general public about their concerns and interests on the proposed Silurian Valley solar project.

The proposed project would be a 200 megawatt solar facility consisting of multiple arrays of photovoltaic panels, 44 miles of service roads, a project substation, and operation & maintenance facilities including an above-ground generation transmission line. The proposed project would be located on 7,219 acres of public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), located along State Highway 127 approximately 10 miles north of the town of Baker in San Bernardino County.

The BLM will rely on public comments, coordination with other Federal, State and local government agencies, and an analysis of environmental factors when considering the variance application. In accordance with the BLM's Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement Record of Decision, the BLM will consider this information to determine whether or not the application is appropriate for processing.

Should the application be accepted for processing, the BLM will develop an environmental impact statement in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. This would include public scoping meetings and in-depth environmental analysis to address potential impacts to the following resources, among others: visual resources, air quality, recreation, biological, and cultural resources.

Comments should be submitted by May 28, 2014 by email or U.S. Mail. Send your comments to: Katrina Symons, BLM Barstow Field Manager, 2601 Barstow Road, Barstow, CA 92311 or by email at: blm_ca_silurian_valley_solar@blm.gov.

Questions should be directed to: Joan Patrovsky, BLM Realty Specialist at (760) 252-6032.


March 12, 2014

BLM Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Project in San Bernardino County, CA: Public Meeting on March 27, 2014

On Thursday, March 27, 2014, the BLM will conduct a public meeting to solicit comments from public agencies and the general public about their concerns and interests on the proposed Silurian Valley solar project. The public meeting is being held to provide the public and other interested parties an opportunity to participate in the variance process determination prior to acceptance of an application.

The proposed project would be a 200 megawatt solar facility consisting of multiple arrays of photovoltaic panels, 44 miles of service roads, a project substation, and operation & maintenance facilities including an aerial generation transmission line. The project would impact 7,219 acres of public lands administered by the BLM, located along State Highway 127 approximately 10 miles north of the town of Baker in San Bernardino County.

Representatives from Aurora Solar, LLC, a subsidiary of Iberdrola Renewables, Inc., will be present at the meeting to answer general questions. The meeting will be held at the Hampton Inn & Suites, 2710 Lenwood Road, Barstow, California from 1:30-4:30 p.m. and 6:00-9:00 p.m. Comment forms will be made available during the meeting.

The BLM, in early coordination with other federal, state and local government agencies, will rely on public comments when considering its determination on whether or not to process the application. In accordance with the BLM Solar PEIS ROD, the California State Director will make a variance determination as to whether the application is deemed appropriate for processing. Should the application be accepted and forwarded for processing, the BLM will develop an Environmental Impact Statement to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act. This would include public scoping meetings and in-depth environmental analysis to include analysis of impacts to the following resources: visual resources, air quality, recreation, biological, and cultural resources.

Comments should be submitted within 30 days following the meeting by email or U.S. Mail. Send your comments to: Katrina Symons, BLM Barstow Field Manager, 2601 Barstow Road, Barstow, CA 92311 or by email at BLM_CA_Silurian_Valley_Solar@blm.gov.

Questions regarding this public meeting should be directed to Joan Patrovsky, BLM Realty Specialist, at: (760) 252-6032.


December 20, 2013

Imperial East and Riverside East SEZ Groundwater Models Available

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released groundwater models and reports for the Imperial East and Riverside East Solar Energy Zones in California. The purpose of these models is to assess potential impacts associated with groundwater withdrawals to support solar energy development in the vicinity of the SEZs. These are numerical models developed using established software and hydrogeological principles that rely on publicly available geospatial, geologic, and hydrologic data.

The Model reports contain further information regarding the development of the models and the results.

The report and the model for the Imperial East SEZ are available on the Groundwater Modeling for the Imperial East SEZ page.

The report and the model for the Riverside East SEZ are available on the Groundwater Modeling for the Riverside East SEZ page.


October 29, 2013

Rescheduled: Solar Long-Term Monitoring and Adaptive Management Pilot Project for the Riverside East SEZ: Public Workshop in Palm Springs, CA, December 11-12

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has rescheduled the public workshop for the Riverside East Solar Energy Zone (SEZ) Solar Long-Term Monitoring and Adaptive Management Pilot Project to December 11 and 12, 2013, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Renaissance Palm Springs, 888 Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, California 92262.

(Note: Parking is available next door to the Renaissance Palm Springs. Go west on E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, turn right onto Calle El Segundo, then right onto Andreas Drive. The parking lot is on the right side of the street.)

Additional details and an agenda will be posted to the Riverside East SEZ Long Term Monitoring and Adaptive Management Pilot Project website prior to the workshop.

The workshop will also be available via webcast. Connection information for the webcast is:

Dial-in number: 1-877-685-5350
Passcode: 830546
URL: http://anl.adobeconnect.com/r28v5g860n6/

If you are planning to attend the public meeting in-person or via webcast please email your RSVP to: lfox@anl.gov

Questions about the workshop should be directed to Mike Sintetos, BLM Program Manager, at msintetos@blm.gov


September 10, 2013

Solar Long-Term Monitoring and Adaptive Management Pilot Project for the Riverside East SEZ: Public Workshop in Palm Springs, California, October 23-24, 2013

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will host a public workshop for the Riverside East Solar Energy Zone (SEZ) Solar Long-Term Monitoring and Adaptive Management Pilot Project on October 23 and 24, from 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Renaissance Palm Springs, 888 Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262.

Additional details and an agenda will be posted to the Riverside East SEZ Long Term Monitoring and Adaptive Management Pilot Project website prior to the workshop.

The workshop will also be available via webcast. Connection information for the webcast is:

Dial-in number: 1-877-685-5350
Passcode: 830546
URL: http://anl.adobeconnect.com/r28v5g860n6/

If you are planning to attend the public meeting in-person or via webcast please email your RSVP to: lfox@anl.gov

Questions about the workshop should be directed to Mike Sintetos, BLM Program Manager, at msintetos@blm.gov


August 13, 2013

Department of Interior (DOI) Announces New West Chocolate Mountains Solar Energy Zone in California

On August 13, 2013, DOI Secretary Jewell announced that the Interior Department has approved the establishment of the West Chocolate Mountains Renewable Energy Evaluation Area (REEA) on public lands in California's Imperial Valley. This REEA will prioritize the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands for the exploration and development of solar and geothermal energy. The REEA creates a new Solar Energy Zone, part of the BLM's Solar Energy Program to facilitate solar energy development by identifying areas with high solar potential, few resource conflicts and access to existing or planned transmission. The BLM estimates that there is potential to generate over 3,330 megawatts of solar power on 20,762 of the REEA that comprise the new solar energy zone.

Updated: 2/2/2017