Interior Department Announces Step Forward For 750 MW McCoy Solar Project In Calif.


U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Ken Salazar has announced the release of the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the McCoy Solar Energy Project, a proposed 750 MW facility in Riverside County, Calif.

The PV facility, to be developed by McCoy Solar LLC, would be built on approximately 4,400 acres of mostly public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) near Blythe, Calif. The project would also include a 14.5-mile generation tie-in line and two-acre switchyard connecting with Southern California Edison's Colorado River Substation.

In the final EIS for the McCoy proposal, the preferred alternative requires McCoy Solar LLC to avoid desert tortoise habitat and washes by shifting the proposed project boundary. The final EIS also includes a proposed amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area Plan.

Publication of the final EIS and proposed plan amendment for the proposed McCoy Solar project initiates a 30-day protest period on the proposed plan amendment, which will end on Jan. 22, 2013. If approved, the McCoy project will join 34 renewable energy projects that the Obama administration has green-lighted for construction on public lands since 2009. Together, the projects have the potential to produce approximately 10,400 MW of energy, according to the DOI.

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