The BLM Yuma Field Office is considering amending a land use plan to allow the use of public land for the proposed Quartzsite Solar Energy Project in La Paz County, Arizona.
The visual requirements of the Yuma Resource Management Plan would not allow characteristics that are being requested for the energy project. An amendment to the plan would modify the visual restrictions.
Quartzsite Solar Energy proposes to construct a 100-megawatt solar-powered electrical generation facility in La Paz County, Arizona. The project is proposed for an area about 10 miles north of Quartzsite and adjacent to Arizona State Route 95. The generation plant, power line and ancillary facilities would be on BLM-administered land.
The proposed project would use concentrating solar “power tower” technology to capture the sun’s heat to make steam, which would power traditional steam turbine generators.
The solar power facility would include a 653-foot tower, which would be the receiver of energy reflected from solar fields. The solar fields are made up of heliostats, which are a collection of mirrors. The project would also include a thermal energy storage system.
The lead federal agency dealing with the Quartzsite Solar Energy application is the Western Area Power Authority. The BLM is a cooperating agency.
A draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the land use plan amendment and the project was released on Nov. 10, 2011. A 90-day public comment period on the draft EIS ends on Feb. 8, 2012. The public will have the opportunity to comment on the draft EIS at meetings in Yuma and Quartzsite.
BLM Yuma Field Office
2555 East Gila Ridge Road
Yuma, AZ 85365
Quartzsite Improvement Association Building
235 East Ironwood Street
Quartzsite, AZ 85346