Bureau of Land Management Solar Project Planning and Environmental Support Services
As part of the Administration’s efforts to diversify the Nation’s energy portfolio, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been tasked with managing the development of utility-scale renewable energy projects on public lands. The BLM works to ensure environmentally responsible development, and in 2011, has given priority status to 18 renewable energy projects representing about 4,279 megawatts (MW).
Working as an extension of BLM staff, ESA is providing project facilitation and technical support to assist several BLM Field Offices in the California Desert District with processing applications and preparing EISs for large-scale solar photovoltaic and solar thermal energy (STE) projects. The STE projects require coordination with the California Energy Commission Application for Certification process. ESA has developed a joint EIS/EIR document outline to facilitate completion of the NEPA/CEQA processes under a concurrent schedule. Our team coordinates with regulatory agencies including the California Energy Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the California Department of Fish and Game on project/cumulative impacts and development of appropriate mitigation strategies. ESA is also working with Southern California Edison and the California Public Utilities Commission regarding transmission infrastructure upgrades needed to support these proposed generation projects.
ESA continues to work with the BLM to ensure environmentally responsible development of renewable energy projects throughout California. ESA has been integral to the approval of more than 1,800 MW of renewable energy development including the Desert Sunlight, Genesis, Palen, and Blythe Solar Projects.