For Immediate Release: DATE, 2008
Media Contact: CONTACT - 916-654-4989

MEDIA ADVISORY

Preliminary Staff Assessment out on Ivanpah Solar Electric
Generating System Project

What: The staff of the California Energy Commission has released its Preliminary Staff Assessment (PSA) for the planned 400-megawatt Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) project in San Bernardino County.

When: Today, Tuesday, December 9, 2008.

Where: The PSA is available on the Energy Commission's Website at:

http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/ivanpah/documents/index.html

In its PSA, staff said that, with the exception of Air Quality, Biological Resources, Cultural Resources, Land Use, Soils and Water Resources, Traffic, Transmission System Engineering, and Visual Resources, the ISEGS project's potential impacts will be mitigated to a less than significant level. Staff believes the impacts to Visual Resources cannot be mitigated. Staff's preliminary analysis has identified cumulative impacts, which are likely to occur in the areas of Biological Resources, Land Use, Traffic, and Visual Resources.

Staff is currently unable to determine if impacts in the areas of Air Quality, Biological Resources, Cultural Resources, Land Use, Soils and Water Resources, Traffic, Transmission System Engineering can be mitigated to a less than significant level pending resolution of outstanding issues that require either additional data, further discussion and analysis, or are awaiting conditions from a permitting agency prescribing mitigation.

Staff's analysis also shows that the ISEGS project would not comply with the applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards (LORS) that pertain to Visual Resources. Staff is currently unable to determine whether or not ISEGS would comply with the laws, ordinances, regulations and standards (LORS) pertaining to Biological Resources, Land Use, and Transmission System Engineering.

The PSA serves as the staff's initial evaluation of the environmental, engineering, and public health and safety impacts of the proposed solar thermal facility. After 30-days of public comment and community workshops on the document, the Energy Commission will respond to all remarks and release its final staff assessment (FSA). The FSA will serve as staff's testimony at the evidentiary hearings by the committee of two commissioners reviewing the case.

Why: The project will develop three solar thermal power plants and shared facilities near Ivanpah Dry Lake in San Bernardino County, on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

The Energy Commission and the BLM are reviewing the proposed plant jointly. If licensed, the proposed project would be constructed in three phases: two 100-megawatt (MW) phases (known as Ivanpah 1 and Ivanpah 2) and a 200 MW phase (Ivanpah 3). The plants will be based on distributed power tower and heliostat mirror technology, in which heliostat (mirror) fields focus solar energy on power tower receivers near the center of each heliostat array.

# # #