For Immediate Release: June 11, 2010
Media Contact: Michele Demetras - 916-654-4989
Furlough Friday, please contact via
Revised Staff Assessment Released for
Genesis Solar Project
Sacramento - The staff of the California Energy Commission completed its revised staff assessment (RSA) for the proposed Genesis Solar Energy Project and concluded that with the implementation of recommended mitigation measures, all potential environmental impacts of the project will be at a less than significant level.
The project is planned on approximately 1800 acres of federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The site, 25 miles west of Blythe and adjacent to Interstate 10 in Riverside County, would use parabolic trough solar thermal technology to produce energy from the sun.
Staff examined engineering, environmental, public health, and safety aspects of the project. The analysis complies with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). 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 CEQA and the BLM is the lead permitting agency under NEPA.
With a capacity to generate 250 megawatts 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 RSA is now open to public comment and is available at: http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/genesis_solar/documents/index.html
While not a final decision on the project, the RSA will serve as commission staff's testimony and recommended mitigation measures during the evidentiary hearings phase on the proposed project. Prior to evidentiary hearings, staff will also be filing a Supplemental to the RSA that will include a completed cultural resources section and updated socioeconomics section, as well as a transmission system engineering appendix.
After evidentiary hearings scheduled to begin on July 12, 2010 the committee of tow commissioners reviewing the project will release the presiding member's proposed decision (PMPD). The PMPD will be available for public review and comment before the full Commission renders a final decision on the proposed project.
If approved, the project is expected to create 40-50 full-time jobs. 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: http://gov.ca.gov/press-release/13273
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