For Immediate Release: February 12, 2010
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989

MEDIA ADVISORY

Joint Staff Assessment/Environmental Impact Statement
released for Solar Two Project in Imperial County

SACRAMENTO – The staff of the California Energy Commission and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today released a joint staff assessment/draft environmental statement (SA/DEIS) for the Stirling Energy Systems Solar Two (SES Solar Two) Project in Imperial County.

The facility planned near Ocotillo Wells would help meet California's goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and producing 33 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

While not a final decision on the project, the SA/DEIS will serve as commission staff's testimony and recommended mitigation measures during the evidentiary hearings phase on the proposed project. The joint SA/DEIS for the SES Solar Two Project is now available for public comment until May 13, 2010.

A Notice of Availability (NOA) for the FSA/DEIS is being posted and distributed by the BLM and will be published in the Federal Register.

The Energy Commission will conduct evidentiary hearings and staff/BLM will publish a Supplemental Staff Assessment/final environmental impact statement (SAA/FEIS). The Energy Commission will then publish the presiding member's proposed decision (PMPD). The PMPD will be available for public review and comment, after which the full Commission renders a final decision and the federal government issues its record of decision and land use plan amendment on the proposed project. If the project is approved, BLM will issue a right of way grant to the applicant, Stirling Energy Systems and implement its plan amendment. The decisions are currently expected this year.

The Energy Commission and the BLM jointly review solar thermal projects of 50 megawatts and greater proposed on public land managed by the BLM. The Commission is the lead permitting agency under the California Environmental Quality Act. The BLM is the lead permitting agency under the National Environmental Policy Act.

The proposed plant would use SunCatcher solar-dish technology designed to automatically track the sun and focus solar energy onto a power conversion unit to generate electricity. The project also includes a 10.3 mile 230-kilovolt transmission line, a substation, a water-supply pipeline, and an access road.

If approved, SES Solar Two will begin construction this year. The project is expected to create 164 permanent jobs. Due to the sparse population near the project's site, it is expected that the construction of the Project will attract a number of temporary workers from the Southern California notably the San Diego-San Marcos-Carlsbad metropolitan area. It is expected that 85 percent of the workers will be derived from within Imperial County. During the 40-month construction period, the workforce will average 360 per month peaking to 731 during month seven of construction.

For additional details on the SES Solar Two Project SA/DEIS, click on:
http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/solartwo/documents/

For more information on Governor Schwarzenegger's Executive Order to advance the state's Renewable Portfolio Standards, go to: http://gov.ca.gov/press-release/13273



# # #