Imperial Valley Solar Project Advances In Permitting

A California Energy Commission (CEC) siting committee is recommending approval of the planned Imperial Valley Solar Project in Imperial County, Calif. The Imperial Valley Solar Project is being developed by Imperial Valley Solar LLC, largely on public land managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management. The project site is located approximately 14 miles west of El Centro.

The primary equipment for the generating facility would include approximately 28,000 25 kW solar dish Stirling systems, or SunCatchers, consisting of a solar receiver heat exchanger and a closed-cycle, high-efficiency engine designed to convert solar power to rotary power and drive an electrical generator to produce electricity.

In its presiding member's proposed decision (PMPD), the committee adopted the proposed 709 MW project alternative preferred by the federal Bureau of Land Management. The project, even with mitigation measures, will have significant environmental impacts to biological resources, cultural resources, land use and visual resources, according to the CEC. The project will also be inconsistent with a land-use provision in the Imperial Valley General Plan.Â

However, the benefits of the project would override those impacts, the committee says. In addition, the committee determined that the project complies with all other applicable laws, ordinances, regulations and standards.

The PMPD is not a final decision on the project, the committee stresses. The committee released the document for 30 days of public comment and will consider input before bringing the proposed decision to the full five-member commission.

SOURCE: California Energy Commission

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