For Immediate Release: November 8, 2013
Media Contact: Sandy Louey - 916-654-4989
Upcoming Workshop and Evidentiary Hearing for
Blythe Solar Power Project Amendment
What: The California Energy Commission is holding a workshop and evidentiary hearing on the proposed Blythe Solar Power Project Amendment.
When: Workshop will be on Tuesday, November 12, 2013, beginning at 10 a.m.
Evidentiary hearing will be on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, beginning at 10 a.m.
Where: Workshop will be in Hearing Room B, while the evidentiary hearing will be in Hearing Room A, at the California Energy Commission, 1516 Ninth Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
Those unable to attend can participate by phone and/or by computer by visiting the following sites:
Why: The workshop will enable Commission staff to discuss with the project applicant issues identified in the staff assessment for the proposed 485-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic project. Air quality, biological resources, paleontological resources, and soil and water resources will be discussed.The public can also ask questions.
The assessment, published September 23 and October 11, will serve as staff's testimony at the evidentiary hearing held by a committee of two commissioners who are reviewing the project. The committee will issue a proposed decision based on evidence from the hearing. The proposed decision will be presented to the full Commission for a final decision.
Background and next steps: In September 2010, the Commission approved the 1,000-MW Blythe Solar Power Project, a solar thermal power project using parabolic trough technology. The site is located about eight miles west of Blythe in eastern Riverside County. It was originally to be built on 7,043 acres of federal public land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
The project owner, Palo Verdes Solar I, LLC, a subsidiary of Solar Millennium, filed an amendment with the Commission in June 2012 to change the technology to solar photovoltaic. In April 2013, the new project owner, NextEra Blythe Energy Center, LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, filed a revised amendment to reduce the project’s physical size and generation capacity.
The 485-MW project would be developed on 4,070 acres of BLM land in four phases, with the first three consisting of 125 MW and the fourth generating 110 MW. The project will also require a revised right-of-way grant from the BLM. Construction on the project is expected to last 48 months. There would be an average of 341 workers during construction, with a peak of 499. Fifteen operational employees would be needed. The estimated capital construction cost is $1.13 billion, according to the project owner.
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The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. Created by the Legislature in 1974 and located in Sacramento, six basic responsibilities guide the Energy Commission as it sets state energy policy: forecasting future energy needs; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency and conservation by setting the state's appliance and building efficiency standards; supporting public interest energy research that advances energy science and technology through research, development, and demonstration programs; developing renewable energy resources and alternative renewable energy technologies for buildings, industry and transportation; planning for and directing state response to energy emergencies. For more information, visit: www.energy.ca.gov or www.energy.ca.gov/releases/.
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