[Federal Register: March 19, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 53)]
[Page 13301-13302]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Bureau of Land Management

[LLNVSO3100 L5101000.ER0000 LVRWF09F8590 241A; 10-08807; 
MO4500012002; TAS: 14X5017]

Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Solar Millennium Amargosa Farm Road Solar Power 
Project, Nye County, NV

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) of 1969, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has 
prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Amargosa 
Farm Road Solar Power Project, Nye County, Nevada, and by this Notice 
is announcing the opening of the comment period.

DATES: To ensure comments will be considered, the BLM must receive 
written comments on the Amargosa Farm Road Solar Power Project Draft 

[[Page 13302]]

within 45 days following the date the Environmental Protection Agency 
publishes its Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. The BLM 
will announce future meetings or hearings and any other public 
involvement activities at least 15 days in advance through public 
notices, media news releases, or mailings.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the Amargosa Farm Road Solar 
Power Project Draft EIS by any of the following methods:
     Web site: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/prog/energy/fast-
     E-mail: solar_millennium@blm.gov.
     Fax: 702-515-5155.
     Mail: Gregory Helseth, Renewable Energy Project Manager, 
BLM Pahrump Field Office, 4701 North Torrey Pines Drive, Las Vegas, 
Nevada 89130-2301.
    Copies of the Draft EIS for the Amargosa Farm Road Solar Power 
Project are available in the Southern Nevada District Office.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gregory Helseth, (702) 515-5173, BLM 
Pahrump Field Office, 4701 North Torrey Pines Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada 
89130-2301; Gregory_Helseth@blm.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Solar Millennium applied to the BLM for a 
4,350-acre right-of-way (ROW) on public lands to construct a 
concentrating solar power plant facility approximately 80 miles 
northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada, in Nye County. The project site is 
located in Amargosa Valley south of Highway 95. The facility is 
expected to operate for approximately 30 years. The proposed project 
would utilize solar thermal parabolic-trough technology, consisting of 
two 242-megawatt, dry-cooled power plants, and fields of solar 
collectors, and thermal storage tanks allowing the production of 
additional electricity for up to 3.5 hours after sundown.
    The solar field is highly modular and consists of loops, each 
consisting of four curved glass mirror collectors. A loop is 22 meters 
wide and 850 meters long. A solar field consists of 200 to 400 loops. 
The orientation of the collectors is north-south and the collectors 
track the sun from east to west during the day. The collector focuses 
the sun's direct beam radiation on a receiver tube. The row of 
collectors has a hydraulic drive unit with sensors to track the sun's 
path throughout the day. The solar energy heats a transfer fluid which 
cycles through a series of exchangers, ultimately generating 
    The project's proposed facility design includes solar fields, power 
blocks, buildings, a parking area, a laydown area, a stormwater 
retention pond, and evaporating ponds. A single overhead 230-kilovolt 
transmission line will connect the plant to the nearby Valley Electric 
substation. Additional elements of the project include access roads, a 
water pipeline, and a bioremediation area.
    The Draft EIS describes and analyzes the project's site-specific 
impacts on air quality; biological, including threatened and endangered 
species, cultural, water, geological, soil, visual, and paleontological 
resources; land use and special management areas; noise; public health; 
socioeconomics; and traffic and transportation. The Draft EIS also 
addresses hazards and hazardous materials holding; waste management; 
worker safety; fire protection; facility design engineering; 
efficiency; reliability; transmission system engineering; transmission 
line safety; and nuisance.
    Three alternatives were analyzed: two for different technologies, 
dry cooling and wet cooling, and one for no action. Alternative A, wet 
cooling, uses circulating water to condense low-pressure steam turbine 
generator exhaust steam in a shell and tube heat exchanger (condenser). 
Alternative A would require the consumptive use of about 4,500 acre-
feet of water per year. Alternative B, dry cooling, uses an air-cooled 
condenser that cools and condenses the low-pressure steam turbine 
generator exhaust steam using a large array of fans that force air over 
finned-tube heat exchangers arranged in an A frame bundle 
configuration. Alternative B would require the consumptive use of about 
400 acre-feet of water per year. Alternative B is the BLM's Preferred 
Alternative. Alternative C is the No Action Alternative.
    Scoping of the project occurred from July 13 to August 24, 2009, 
and was extended to October 19, 2009. A total of 151 scoping comments 
were submitted. The comments addressed a broad range of categories, 
including alternatives, project boundaries, management, and physical/
natural resources.
    The Draft EIS addresses the following issues identified during 
scoping: the NEPA process (consultation/coordination, proposal 
description, alternatives, connected actions, and cumulative impacts); 
social resources (cultural resources, visual resources, noise, land 
use, recreation, transportation, and socioeconomic resources); and 
physical/natural resources (botanical resources, water resources, 
paleontological resources, biological resources and earth resources).
    Please note that public comments and information submitted, 
including names, street addresses, and e-mail addresses of persons who 
submit comments, will be available for public review and disclosure at 
the above address during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), 
Monday through Friday, except holidays. Before including your address, 
phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information 
in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment--
including your personal identifying information--may be made publicly 
available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold 
your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot 
guarantee that we will be able to do so.

Patrick Putnam,
Pahrump Field Office Manager.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6 and 1506.10.

[FR Doc. 2010-6056 Filed 3-18-10; 8:45 am]