California Energy Commission Letterhead


Friday, January 9, 2009
11am - 5pm

Banquet Room
31700 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Primm, NV 89019
(Wheelchair Accessible)


This notice is to inform you of the availability of the Preliminary Staff Assessment (PSA) for the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) project Application for Certification (07-AFC-5). The PSA contains the California Energy Commission staff's preliminary engineering and environmental evaluation of the proposed ISEGS project.

This notice is also to inform you that the Energy Commission staff will hold a public workshop to further encourage public participation, as it relates to the proposed ISEGS project and the Energy Commission's permitting process. The workshop will be held on Friday, January 9, 2009, from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. in the banquet room, at the Primm Valley Resort in Primm, NV. Based on the workshop dialogue, written comments received regarding the PSA, and additional information that will be gathered, the Energy Commission staff will revise the PSA where appropriate and issue a Final Staff Assessment (FSA).

After the public comment period on the PSA, staff will prepare a document jointly with BLM, which is the federal lead agency for compliance with the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). This project will also be reviewed by BLM staff pursuant to the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976. The joint state and federal analysis will take the form of a FSA/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). That document will then be circulated for a 90-day public comment period. Then a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) will be issued.

The Energy Commission encourages public participation in the review of the ISEGS Application for Certification (07-AFC-5). The public comment period for this PSA is from December 9, 2008 to January 23, 2009. All public comments received by January 23, 2009, will be considered by the Energy Commission staff for incorporation into the FSA.

Written comments on the PSA should be provided to Che McFarlin, Project Manager, no later than 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 23, 2009, at the address on this letterhead or by email to Technical or project schedule questions should be directed to Mr. McFarlin at (916) 651-0965, or by email, at the address above.

Summary of the Proposed Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) Project

On August 31, 2007, the applicant filed an Application for Certification (AFC) with the California Energy Commission seeking permission to develop the proposed 400 megawatt (MW), Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) project. The applicant proposes to locate the ISEGS project on 4,065 acres within the Mojave Desert on land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in San Bernardino County, California. This proposed site is located east of the Clark Mountains and west of the Ivanpah Dry Lake. More specifically, the proposed project site is located 4.5 miles southwest of Primm, Nevada and 0.5 mile west of the Primm Valley Golf Club. Access to site would be from the Yates Well Road Interchange on I-15 and Colosseum Road which passes through the proposed project site.

The applicant proposes to develop the ISEGS project in three separate phases, starting with Phase I and ending with Phase III. At full build out, the project would have an electrical generation capacity of 400 megawatts. All three of the proposed solar electric plants (Phases I, II and III) would be developed on contiguous BLM property, share an administration building, an operation and maintenance building, and a substation. The proposed project would also require on-site and off-site infrastructure improvements such as a natural gas pipeline and metering stations, two new ground water wells, storm water retention basins and diversion channels, telecommunications lines and road improvements, among others.

The ISEGS project would be interconnected to the Southern California Edison (SCE) transmission grid by three new 115 kilovolt transmission generation tie lines (gen-tie line) and a new Ivanpah substation. It is anticipated that SCE will upgrade its transmission lines from the proposed new Ivanpah substation, easterly, to the existing Eldorado substation in Nevada.

Energy Commission Licensing Authority

The Energy Commission is responsible for reviewing and ultimately approving or denying all applications for construction and operation of thermal electric power plants, 50 MW and greater, proposed for construction in California. The Energy Commission's facility certification process carefully examines public health and safety, environmental impacts and engineering aspects of proposed power plants, and all related facilities such as electric transmission lines and natural gas and water pipelines. The Energy Commission is the lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and produces several environmental and decision documents rather than an Environmental Impact Report.

Summary of the California Energy Commission Staff's Preliminary Findings

Staff's preliminary analysis shows that, with the exception of Air Quality, Biological Resources, Cultural Resources, Land Use, Soils and Water Resources, Traffic, Transmission System Engineering, and Visual Resources, the ISEGS project's potential impacts will be mitigated to a less than significant level. Staff believes the impacts to Visual Resources are unmitigatable. Staff's preliminary analysis has identified cumulative impacts which are likely to occur in the areas of Biological Resources, Land Use, Traffic, and Visual Resources.

Staff is currently unable to determine if impacts in the areas of Air Quality, Biological Resources, Cultural Resources, Land Use, Soils and Water Resources, Traffic, and Transmission System Engineering can be mitigated to a less than significant level pending resolution of outstanding issues that require either additional data, further discussion and analysis, or are awaiting conditions from a permitting agency prescribing mitigation.

Staff's analysis also shows that the ISEGS project would not comply with the applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards (LORS) that pertain to Visual Resources. Staff is currently unable to determine whether or not ISEGS would comply with the LORS pertaining to Biological Resources, Land Use, and Transmission System Engineering.

Public Resources, Contact Information and Additional Sources for Information

If you desire information on how to participate in the Energy Commission's review of the proposed project, please contact Elena Miller, the Energy Commission's Public Adviser, at (916) 653-5898 or toll free in California at (800) 822-6228, or by email at:

To request special accommodations for those persons with disabilities, please contact Lourdes Quiroz, the Energy Commission's Equal Employment Opportunity Officer at or by telephone (916) 654-5146. For those persons with limited English knowledge, request interpreter services by contacting the Project Manager, Che McFarlin.

The status of the project, copies of notices and other relevant documents are also available on the Energy Commission's Internet web site at: News media inquiries should be directed to Assistant Director, Susanne Garfield, at (916) 654-4989, or by email at:

The PSA will be available for review at the following local libraries:

San Bernardino County Library District
Library Administration
104 W. 4th Street
San Bernardino, CA 92415

Barstow Branch Library
304 E. Buena Vista Street
Barstow, CA 92311


Copies will also be available at the Energy Commission's Library in Sacramento, the California State Library in Sacramento, and at California public libraries in Eureka, Fresno, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. In addition, copies will be distributed to those public agencies that would normally have jurisdiction except for the Energy Commission's exclusive authority to certify sites and related facilities.

If you would like a paper copy or CD of the PSA, please fill out the enclosed form and return it to California Energy Commission, Attention: Hilarie Anderson, Siting Project Secretary, at (916) 651-0479, or by e-mail at

Date Posted: December 11, 2008


______Original Signed By______
TERRENCE O'BRIEN, Deputy Director
Energy Facilities Siting Division



Mailed to lists:
7255 - General
7256 - Property Owners