The Farmington Field Office Bureau of Land Management received concurrence from its headquarters office to initiate the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for the Shiprock Solar Facility solar application on August 27, 2020.
The proposed utility-scale photovoltaic solar and battery storage facility would be on approximately 2,000 acres of BLM-administered public land, and 555 acres of private land located four miles north of Waterflow, New Mexico near the San Juan Generating Station in northwest San Juan County.
The proposed project would produce approximately 372 megawatts of electricity. It would connect to the existing Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) Shiprock Substation via an approximately 1,400‑foot 345kV transmission line (using a constructed Main Collector Substation located near the WAPA substation). An alternative interconnection is an approximately 2,600-foot long transmission line to Public Service Company of New Mexico's San Juan 345kV station as a second option. Both substations connect the solar facility to regional electrical system grids.
For further information, please contact Monica Tilden, BLM Project Manager, at [email protected] or (505) 564-7744.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) invites the public to participate in an informational pre-application virtual workshop for the Shiprock Solar Project on May 27, from 6 - 8 p.m. The proposed project area to be developed by Utah-based Shiprock Solar LLC encompasses a total of 2,535 acres (1,980 acres of BLM‑administered public lands and 555 acres of private lands) that are located about 4 miles north of Waterflow in San Juan County near the Public Service Company of New Mexico operated San Juan Generating Station.
The proposed project within the jurisdiction of the BLM's Farmington Field Office would produce approximately 372 megawatts of electricity. It would connect to the existing Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) Substation via an approximately 1,400-foot 345-kV transmission line (using a constructed Main Collector Substation Location near the WAPA substation) or approximately 2,600 feet to PNM's San Juan 345-kV station as the second option (using an alternative location for the Main Collector Substation). Both substations connect the solar facility to regional electrical system grids.
The project will follow the established BLM variance process because it is located on BLM-administered public lands that are outside of a solar energy zone identified in BLM's Western Solar Plan.
Please register in advance for this workshop by filling out the registration form. Once you complete the registration, an email will be sent to you providing meeting details. For further information, contact either BLM Realty Specialist Monica Tilden at 505-564-7744 or Jillian Aragon at 505-564-7722 ([email protected]).
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will host a second public workshop to discuss the Solar Regional Mitigation Strategy (SRMS) for the Afton Solar Energy Zone (SEZ) in New Mexico. The workshop will be held on September 7, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with registration beginning at 8:00 a.m. The workshop will be located at:
New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum
4100 Dripping Springs Rd
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88011
The workshop objectives are to present: (1) SRMS progress to date on residual impacts, impacts warranting mitigation, and goals and objectives, (2) present candidate mitigation site locations and actions nominated for consideration, and (3) provide an open forum for discussion and solicit thoughts on evaluating candidate mitigation sites. The agenda for this workshop is below.
If you are planning to attend the public workshop, please email your RSVP to: [email protected]. The BLM has invited stakeholders that have nominated candidate mitigation sites and actions to present their nominations at the workshop.
The Project Website serves as a source of information regarding the status of the project and opportunities for public participation. Materials from the first workshop and webinars are currently available on the project website.
Questions about this workshop can be directed to Treaver Ashby at the BLM Las Cruces District Office at [email protected] or (575) 525-4304.
Note: The workshop will not be offered via webinar due to open forum discussions; all BLM materials presented will be made available on this website soon after the workshop.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is developing a Solar Regional Mitigation Strategy (SRMS) for the Afton Solar Energy Zone (SEZ) in New Mexico. Previous stakeholder input and comments have been considered in the process of identifying residual impacts from solar development, and those residual impacts that may warrant regional compensatory mitigation. Now BLM is requesting recommendations for mitigation sites and actions from interested stakeholders.
As a guide for stakeholders, BLM suggests that recommended mitigation sites and actions:
The BLM is concurrently working to identify and evaluate several potential mitigation sites and actions to mitigate impacts to vegetation, visual resources, and special designations, through the use of mitigation criteria for importance, feasibility, effectiveness, timeliness, risk, durability, additionality, and other considerations. Details on these criteria are provided in three candidate site screening tables available on the Afton SRMS Project Website – separate mitigation evaluation tables are provided based on the primary resource addressed by the mitigation site/action (either vegetation, special designations, or visual resources). Detailed instructions for filling in the evaluation tables are also on the project website.
The BLM requests that stakeholders provide the information requested in these candidate site screening tables for each recommended mitigation site, as an effective way of providing the BLM with information on the suitability of the recommended mitigation sites and actions. The screening table information should be submitted for each mitigation site/action recommended.
The BLM requests submission of candidate mitigation site location and action recommendations by July 21, 2017.
When submitting recommended mitigation sites and actions, please indicate if you are willing to present your recommendation(s) at a stakeholder workshop, which is tentatively planned for mid-to late August. During the workshop, all nominated candidate mitigation sites and actions will be presented and discussed. More details and a specific date for the stakeholder workshop will be provided in July.
Please email your mitigation recommendations and any questions or comments to Treaver Ashby, BLM Las Cruces District Office at [email protected] or (575) 525-4304.
Our thanks to all who participated in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) webinar on Wednesday, September 28th. The webinar presentation is posted on the Afton SRMS Project Website.
Please consider using the “Questions to Consider When Commenting” form available on the project website for the most effective way of providing comments. However, BLM will accept any format for comments (written letter, PDF comment tags, scanned markups, etc.).
BLM requests comments on draft impacts that may warrant regional mitigation, goals and objectives, and additional workshop materials available on the website by October 26, 2016.
Please email your comments to [email protected].
Questions about the webinar can be directed to Treaver Ashby, Las Cruces District Office, at [email protected].
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will host a webinar to discuss the Solar Regional Mitigation Strategy (SRMS) for the Afton SEZ in New Mexico on Wednesday, September 28th from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. Mountain Time. The webinar will focus on an updated assessment of residual impacts based on stakeholder input, a preliminary assessment of impacts warranting compensatory mitigation, and a preview of regional goals and objectives and draft mitigation desired outcomes.
Documents for stakeholder review have now been posted to the Afton SRMS Project Website. Three documents are included: 1. Impacts Summary (Revision), 2. Draft - Impacts that May Warrant Mitigation, and 3. Draft - Goals and Objectives Crosswalk.
The webinar dial-in number is: 1-888-240-2560; passcode 963-774-5036. If you are planning to attend the webinar please register at: http://anl.adobeconnect.com/aftonsrms09282016/event/registration.html. If you experience any difficulty in registering or logging in to the webinar, please call 773-575-8388.
The Las Cruces District Office will host any interested local stakeholders in a conference room to view the webinar, located at: 1800 Marquess Street, Las Cruces, NM 88005-3370. If you are interested in attending the webinar viewing at the Las Cruces District Office, please email your RSVP to [email protected].
Questions about the webinar can be directed to Treaver Ashby, Las Cruces District Office, at [email protected] or (575) 525-4304.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is developing a Solar Regional Mitigation Strategy (SRMS) for the Afton Solar Energy Zone (SEZ) in New Mexico. The BLM will host an all-day public workshop on May 3, 2016, at:
The BLM is developing this strategy to identify potential impacts of solar development in the SEZ and appropriate mitigation measures to address these impacts, in particular through regional compensatory mitigation. Compensatory mitigation is defined in 40 CFR 1508.20 as compensating for the (residual) impacts of a project by replacing or providing substitute resources or environments, where mitigation actions are typically implemented at locations outside the area of impact. SRMS development will be a public, stakeholder-informed process. This workshop represents the beginning of that public process. A detailed agenda will be forthcoming. There will be additional opportunities to attend meetings and otherwise provide input as the SRMS is developed.
A project website has been created that will serve as a source of information regarding the status of the project and opportunities for public participation. As materials become available, including detailed agendas, presentations, and handouts, they will be posted on this website, available at http://blmsolar.anl.gov/sez/nm/regional-mitigation/.
If you are planning to attend the public workshop, please e-mail your RSVP to: [email protected].
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released a groundwater model and report for the Afton Solar Energy Zone in New Mexico. The purpose of the Afton SEZ Model is to assess potential impacts associated with groundwater withdrawals to support solar energy development in the vicinity of the Afton SEZ. This is an analytical model developed using established hydrogeological principles that relies on publicly available geologic and hydrologic data.
The Afton SEZ Model report contains further information regarding the development of the model and the results.
To view the Afton SEZ report and model, visit the Groundwater Modeling for the Afton SEZ page.