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Palo Verde Valley Blythe/Quartzsite Times | Blythe, California and Quartzsite, Arizona

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11/13/2013 6:00:00 AM
Evidentiary hearing for Blythe Solar Power Project scheduled for Nov. 19
Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of EnergyA photovoltaic solar project planned raised environmental concerns with the California Energy Commission. A commission committee presents its findings to the full commission Nov. 19.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy
A photovoltaic solar project planned raised environmental concerns with the California Energy Commission. A commission committee presents its findings to the full commission Nov. 19.
Special to the Times

BLYTHE - The California Energy Commission presents an evidentiary hearing on the proposed Blythe Solar Power Project Amendment begins at 10 a.m. Nov. 19. The commission had a workshop yesterday.

The workshop enables commission staff to discuss the project applicant issues identified in the staff assessment for the proposed 485-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic project.

The identified issues the commission found had to do with air quality, biological resources, paleontological resources, and soil and water resources, as well as cultural resources.

The assessment, published Sept. 23 and Oct. 11, serves as staff's testimony at the evidentiary hearing led by a committee of two commissioners who are reviewing the project. The committee plans to issue a proposed decision based on evidence from the hearing. Based on the evidence presented, the full commission will make a final decision about the project.

In Sept. 2010, the commission approved the 1,000-MW Blythe Solar Power Project, a solar thermal power project using parabolic trough technology. The site sits about eight miles west of Blythe in eastern Riverside county and originally planned 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 also requires 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.

The evidentiary hearing takes place 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: Hearing -

The public can ask questions during the hearing.

Related Stories:
• Energy Commission approves NextEra $1.13 billion solar project
• First Solar to build 250MW power plant near Blythe
• BLM to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Blythe Solar Power Project

Related Links:
• California Commission of Energy

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, November 23, 2013
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

WASHINGTON (AP) The government for the first time has enforced environmental laws protecting birds against wind energy facilities, winning a $1 million settlement Friday from a power company that pleaded guilty to killing 14 eagles and 149 other birds at two Wyoming wind farms.

If they did it to the Wind Farms, so what do you think will happen here? Nothing because this Sun Farm is not going to be built. So much hoopla for nothing.

So where is the Obama's administration? Why is it not protection another of Obama' pet projects?

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013
Article comment by: The Spoon

"WAKE UP PEOPLE, BLYTHE IS ABOUT TO BECOME A BOOM TOWN" (was the headline). language on how food vendors, housing construction, rental opportunities, and many other business opportunities as well as economic growth was the meat and potato's of the story... That this Solar Power Industrial Complex in the Palo Verde Valley would change the face of Blythe forever..... I guess being drunk off of the Berry Flavored Kool-Aid and such will land you a spot with the Desert Rider. I'm just say'n................................

Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2013
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

I guess we will be kissing this project Goodbye. You ever think what would have happen if the Riverside County Supervisors had not been greedy way back, Would have they gone ahead with the construction of the solar farm?

So be sure to thank them at voting time.

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