For Immediate Release: March 26, 2010
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989


Joint environmental document released for the Genesis Solar Project

SACRAMENTO - The staff of the California Energy Commission and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have completed a joint Staff Assessment/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SA/DEIS) for the proposed Genesis Solar Energy Project.

The project, planned on approximately 1800 acres of federal land 25 miles west of Blythe adjacent to Interstate 10 in Riverside County would use parabolic trough solar thermal technology to produce energy from the sun.

With a capacity to generate 250 megawatts (MW) of electricity, the facility would help meet California's goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and producing 33 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

The joint SA/DEIS is now open to public comment. The comment period will end 90 days after publication of a Notice of Availability (NOA) in the Federal Register beginning April 9, 2010.

The entire document is available at:

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.

After the evidentiary hearings, Energy Commission staff and the BLM will release 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 (RO) and land use plan amendment on the proposed project. If the project is approved, BLM will issue a right of way (ROW) grant to the applicant, NextEra Energy Resources 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 (CEQA). The BLM is the lead permitting agency under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).

If approved, the project is expected to create to 40-50 full time employees. Project construction is expected to employ an average of 646 workers a month peaking at 1,085 workers during the 37-month construction period. Workers are expected to come from the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metropolitan area.

For more information on Governor Schwarzenegger's Executive Order to advance the state's Renewable Portfolio Standards, go to: