BLM Approves First Solar Project in Riverside County

By Published On: August 12, 2011

First Solar scored another victory. Its 550 MW Desert Sunlight solar farm seeking public land in Southern California won a permit this week from the Secretary of Interior. It also landed a $1.88 billion conditional loan guarantee from the DOE for the project in Riverside County. Interior’s Bureau of Land Management is “committed to supporting a clean energy future for America by responsibly developing renewable energy on our country’s public lands,” said Bob Abbey, BLM director. ”And part of that responsibility lies in mitigating the potential impacts of energy development on our wildlife and our lands.” The desert project was scaled back, with its footprint reduced from 19,000 acres to 4,144 acres. Another permit condition requires Desert Sunlight to buy 7,500 acres of habitat for “desert tortoise and other sensitive wildlife species to help mitigate the project’s potential impacts,” according to Interior. Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison plan to buy the solar project’s power.

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