California Energy Commission Letterhead


APPLICATION FOR CERTIFICATION
FOR THE
ABENGOA MOJAVE SOLAR PROJECT

Docket No. 09-09-AFC-5

 

NOTICE OF INFORMATIONAL HEARING
ENVIRONMENTAL SCOPING MEETING
AND PUBLIC SITE VISIT

On August 10, 2009, Mojave Solar LLC, filed an Application for Certification (AFC) to construct and operate the Abengoa Mojave Solar (AMS) project, a 250 megawatt (MW) solar electric generating facility on approximately 1,765 acres located approximately nine miles northwest of the town of Hinkley in unincorporated San Bernardino County. The Energy Commission has exclusive jurisdiction to license this project and is considering the proposal under a twelve-month review process established by Public Resources Code, section 25540.6.

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Energy Commission has designated a Committee of two commissioners to conduct proceedings on the AFC. The Committee has scheduled a Public Site Visit, Informational Hearing, and Environmental Scoping Meeting to discuss the proposed project as described below:

WEDNESDAY, December 9, 2009
Site Visit begins (bus leaves) at 1:00 p.m.
Public Informational Hearing & Environmental Scoping Meeting begins at 3:00 p.m.

Barstow City Hall
220 E. Mountain View Street
Barstow, California 92311
(Map)

Members of the public are invited to join the Committee on a tour of the proposed site. The Applicant will provide transportation to and from the site. For reservations, contact the Energy Commission Public Adviser's Office at (916) 654-4489, 800-822-6228, or e-mail: [publicadviser@energy.state.ca.us]. Please make your reservation on or before 12:00 noon, Monday, December 7, 2009, so we can assure you a space.

Background

The power plant licensing process, which incorporates requirements equivalent to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), considers all relevant engineering and environmental aspects of the proposed project. It provides a public forum allowing the Applicant, Commission staff, governmental agencies, adjacent landowners, and members of the public to consider the advantages and disadvantages of the project, and to propose changes, mitigation measures, and alternatives as necessary.

On October 21, 2009, the Energy Commission began its review of the project. During the review period, it will determine whether the proposed project complies with applicable laws related to public health and safety, environmental impacts, and engineering requirements. During the preparation of its analysis, Commission staff may hold one or more public workshops. After Staff's analysis is completed, the Committee will hold evidentiary hearing(s) and prepare a Presiding Member's Proposed Decision (PMPD), based solely on the evidence presented during the hearing(s), recommending whether or not to approve the proposed project. The PMPD will then be considered by the full Energy Commission.

Project Description

The AMS facility is proposed for a 1,765 acre site approximately nine miles northwest of the site in the town of Hinkley, San Bernardino County, and six miles north of the intersection of Harper Lake Road and State Highway 58. The existing Solar Electric Generating Stations (SEGS) VIII and IX facilities, owned by NextEra™ Energy Resources, are located immediately northwest of the project site.

The project site is comprised of private property that was known as the Lockhart Ranch complex and used for agricultural and cattle production for over sixty years. The property is designated and also zoned Rural Living (RL) by the San Bernardino County General Plan.

The proposed project is a solar electric generating facility using solar parabolic trough technology to activate a heat transfer fluid. That fluid is then used to generate steam to drive steam turbine generators, generating electrical power. The project would have a combined nominal electrical output of 250-MW from twin, independently-operable solar fields, each feeding a 125-MW power island. The twin solar fields would be 884 acres and 800 acres, respectively, and joined at a transmission line interconnection substation, located on-site. An additional 81 acres, shared between the solar sites, would be utilized for drainage facilities for receiving and discharging of on-site and off-site drainage.

Natural gas for ancillary project purposes, such as auxiliary boilers, space heating, and similar uses, would be supplied by an existing natural gas pipeline that runs to the project boundary. Each power island would also have a diesel engine-driven firewater pump for fire protection and a diesel engine-driven backup generator for power plant essentials. The AMS project would connect to Southern California Edison Company's Kramer-Cool Water 230-kV transmission line, which is located adjacent to the southern border of the project site.

The project proposes to use wet cooling towers for power plant cooling and owns adjudicated water rights to the Harper Valley Groundwater Basin for this purpose. The groundwater supply is expected to be brackish and not suitable for municipal supply or other potable uses without treatment. The project proposes to use 2,163 acre-feet of water per year.

The project will include four 5-acre lined evaporation ponds for industrial wastewater. A sanitary septic system and on-site leach field will be used to dispose of sanitary wastewater.

If approved, construction of the generating facility, from site preparation and grading to commercial operation, is expected to take place from the fourth quarter of 2010 to the fourth quarter of 2012 (24 months total).

The engineering and environmental details of the proposed project are contained in the AFC. The AFC is available on the Energy Commission Web Page for this project, libraries in Eureka, San Francisco, Fresno, Los Angeles, San Diego, the Energy Commission's Library, California State Library, and at the following local area libraries: Adelanto Library; Apple Valley Library; Barstow Library; and Mojave Library.

Purpose of the Scoping Meeting and Informational Hearing

This Scoping Meeting and Informational Hearing provides an opportunity for members of the community in the project vicinity to obtain information and offer comments and concerns about the proposed project as well as identify potential environmental impacts for consideration during the Energy Commission's review of the proposal. The Applicant will explain plans for developing the project and the related facilities and Energy Commission staff will explain the administrative licensing process and Staff's role in reviewing the AFC.

Proposed Schedule and Issue Identification Report

To assist the parties and public in understanding the process, Staff shall file a proposed schedule for project review. Staff shall also file an Issue Identification Report (IIR) summarizing the major environmental and other issues it has identified regarding the project and what additional information is necessary to resolve issues of concern. The proposed schedule and Staff's report shall be filed no later than noon on December 2, 2009. The Applicant shall file its response, if any, no later than noon on December 7, 2009.

Public Adviser and Public Participation

The Energy Commission's Public Adviser's Office is available to assist the public in participating in the AFC review process. For information on how to participate, please contact the Public Adviser's Office at (916) 654-4489 or, 800-822-6228 or e-mail: [publicadviser@energy.state.ca.us].

If you have a disability and need assistance to participate in this event, contact Lourdes Quiroz at 916-654-5146 or e-mail: [lquiroz@energy.state.ca.us].

Contact Information

Questions of a legal or procedural nature should be directed to Paul Kramer, the Hearing Officer, at (916) 654-5103 or e-mail: [pkramer@energy.state.ca.us].

Technical questions concerning the Project should be addressed to Craig Hoffman, the Staff Project Manager, at (916) 654-4781, or by e-mail: [choffman@energy.state.ca.us].

Media inquiries should be directed to the Energy Commission's Office of Media and Communications at (916) 654-4989 or e-mail: [mediaoffice@energy.state.ca.us].

Information concerning the status of the project, as well as notices and other relevant documents, including the AFC, may be viewed on the Energy Commission's Internet web page at: www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/abengoa/. You may also subscribe to receive e-mail notification of all notices at www.energy.ca.gov/listservers.

Dated November 12, 2009, at Sacramento, California.

commissioner signature
JULIA LEVIN
Commissioner and Presiding Member
Abengoa Mojave AFC Committee

commissioner signature
JAMES D. BOYD
Vice Chair and Associate Member
Abengoa Mojave AFC Committee

Mailed to lists: POS, 7361, 7362, 7363, 7364