For Immediate Release: January 21, 2010
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989


Informational hearings, environmental scoping meetings, and public site visits to three solar thermal projects to be held January 25

What: The California Energy Commission committees reviewing three proposed solar thermal projects in Riverside County will hold informational hearings, environmental scoping meetings, and public site visits. These plants are the Rice Solar Energy Project, Blythe Solar Power Project and Palen Solar Power Project. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will conduct its own concurrent process to determine whether to approve a right-of-way grant sought by the plant applicants.

When: Monday, January 25, 2010

Where: Council chambers, Blythe City Hall, 235 N. Broadway, Blythe, California

1:15 p.m. - Site visit to the 150-megawatt Rice Solar Energy Project begins (bus leaves City Hall).

3:30 p.m. - Visits to the sites of the one gigawatt Blythe Solar Power Project and the 500-MW Palen Solar Power Project begin (bus leaves City Hall).

5 p.m. - All buses return to Blythe City Hall for discussions concerning matters common to the three projects.

6 p.m. - Presentations and discussions will be held regarding the Rice Solar Energy Project.

7 p.m. - Presentations and discussions regarding the Blythe Solar Power Project and Palen Solar Power Project.

Who: The public is invited to the meetings. You do not need to be an intervener (formal party to the proceedings) to take part in the public process.

Why: The informational hearing/scoping meetings, publicly noticed in December, revised and publicly noticed again on January 12, provide an opportunity for members of the community in the vicinity of the projects to obtain information, to offer comments and concerns, and to view the project sites. The BLM staff will also explain the role of their agency in the joint process.

If approved by the Energy Commission, the three solar thermal projects will employ thousands of construction workers during a two to three year construction period. When fully operational, the Blythe project will employ 221 full-time workers; Rice will require 47 full time staff and Palen employ 134 long-term employees.

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