For Immediate Release: June 4, 2010
Media Contact: Michele Demetras - 916-654-4989

MEDIA ADVISORY

Revised Staff Assessment Released on
Blythe Solar Power Project

SACRAMENTO - The staff of the California Energy Commission today released its revised staff assessment (RSA) for the proposed Blythe Solar Power Project.

The RSA serves as the Energy Commission staff's final environmental and engineering evaluation of the proposed 1,000- megawatt plant, which will be located in Riverside County on public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The document is not a decision or proposed decision on the planned facility. It contains the staff's testimony at the evidentiary hearings on the project to be scheduled by the hearing officer and the committee of two commissioners reviewing the proposed project.

The RSA was released after public workshops and the end of the comment period for the joint staff assessment/draft environmental impact statement (SA-DEIS) issued by the California Energy Commission and the BLM on March 11, 2010. The workshops provided an opportunity for various government agencies, the public, and other interested parties to present questions and comments on the SA-DEIS. Based on the workshop dialogue, written comments received regarding the document, and additional information gathered, the Energy Commission staff revised the SA where appropriate for the RSA.

In the document released today, the staff identified unmitigable impacts in the areas of visual resources and land use. Additionally, the technical area of transmission system engineering remains undetermined with respect to mitigation of potential impacts and/or for conformance with applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards. Staff will work to resolve the outstanding issues and plans on issuing a supplemental staff assessment publication in early July 2010.

The project is being jointly developed by Solar Millennium, LLC, and Chevron Energy Systems. If approved, the plant would use solar parabolic trough technology by collecting heat energy from the sun and using heat transfer fluid to generate steam in a boiler that will power turbine generators to produce electricity. The project's nominal 1,000 megawatt output will be generated by four identical and independent 250-megawatt units.

For additional details on the Blythe Solar Project, click on: http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/solar_millennium_blythe/

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

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