Bureau of Land Management Solar Energy Program Western Solar Plan

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Dry Lake

The Dry Lake solar energy zone (SEZ) is located in Nevada in Dry Lake Valley in a semiarid basin with undeveloped scrubland. The SEZ is located on BLM-administered land within the Southern Nevada District.

Development Status

On June 30, 2014, the BLM held a competitive leasing auction for six parcels in the Dry Lake SEZ, selecting three potential developers. Results of the auction are summarized on a Southern Nevada District Office announcement.

On December 8, 2014, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced the availability of Environmental Assessments for three proposed projects in the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone (SEZ). The BLM has issued a press release with details about these proposed projects.

The Environmental Assessments are available through the BLM Southern Nevada District Office Renewable Energy web page, and will be open for public comment through January 8, 2015.

Size and Location

In the Draft Solar PEIS the proposed Dry Lake SEZ had a total area of 15,649 acres (63 km2). In the Supplement to the Draft, the SEZ was reconfigured to include only the southernmost area northwest of I-15, in order to mitigate impacts on various resources, including impacts on desert tortoise and potential impacts on military operations. In addition, 469 acres (1.9 km2) of floodplain and wetland non-development areas within the remaining SEZ boundaries were identified. The remaining developable area within the SEZ is 5,717 acres (23 km2). No additional changes to the SEZ developable area were made in the Final Solar PEIS.

The Dry Lake SEZ is located in Clark County in southern Nevada, in an undeveloped rural area in Dry Lake Valley, bounded on the west by Arrow Canyon Range and on the southeast by Dry Lake Range. In 2008, the population of Clark County was 1,879,093. The towns of Moapa and Overton are as close as about 23 mi (37 km) northeast and 26 mi (42 km) northeast of the SEZ, respectively.

Dry Lake SEZ
(Does not show non-development areas identified in the Solar PEIS.)
Dry Lake I15 East Gas Plants Intersection SW Corner

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Physical Characteristics

The land within the Dry Lake SEZ is undeveloped scrubland, characteristic of a semiarid basin. Vegetation within the SEZ is predominantly creosotebush and other low shrubs.

Lands within and near the SEZ contain multiple transmission lines and related facilities, several power plants and other industrial facilities, mining operations, I-40, other roads, and a railroad. In addition, there is debris scattered throughout the SEZ.

Photo of the Dry Lake SEZ

Technical Suitability

The nearest major roads accessing the Dry Lake SEZ are I-15, which runs along the southeastern border of the SEZ, and U.S. 93, which runs along the southwest border of the SEZ. Two designated transmission corridors that are heavily developed with numerous natural gas, petroleum product, and electric transmission lines (including a 500-kV transmission line) pass through the SEZ.

Updated: 12/11/2014