The Silver State South project has been issued an environmental statement released from the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to downsize by 100MW due to environmental concerns.
The released Final Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) states the proposed site obstructs protected desert tortoises and other wildlife.
The desert tortoise population connectivity surveyed in 2011, combined with a recent regional analysis of the Ivanpah Valley area, and concerns over the Jean Lake and Roach Lake ‘Special Recreation Management Area’ prompted a recommendation in downsizing.
The US-based thin film module manufacturer, First Solar’s Silver State South project in Clark County, Near Primm, Nevada, applied for a right of way (ROW) grant for 12,889 hectares from the BLM, which manages more than 18 million hectares of public land.
The proposed 350MW project with substation and switchyard was awarded the amendments to downscale by 100MW, to cover 982- 1,570 hectares, with the original 12,889 hectare ROW to be used only for project development.
After a 30 day protest period with three public meetings held in Las Vegas and Nevada and a 60 day governor review on the project draft, and federal and state association negotiations, the final EIS was released.
The final notice was not given till the regional analysis of desert tortoise connectivity was complete and the protest period and review complete.
The Silver State South project is an expansion of the project’s first phase: Silver State North project, a 50MW project approved in 2010 and operating since 2012, Silver State North is also the first large scale BLM solar project, covering 250 hectares of Bureau managed land.