The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is open to public comment on the draft environmental analysis for the Rough Hat Clark County Solar Project, one of 67 clean energy projects currently being considered by the BLM.
The Rough Hat project is proposed by Candela Renewables, which submitted a right-of-way application in 2019, and will be responsible for constructing, operating and decommissioning the plant. Located on approximately 2,400 acres, 38 miles west of Las Vegas, the proposal is to add 400 MWac of solar to the grid, or enough to power approximately 74,000 homes. The project is also intended to include up to a 200 MW battery energy storage system.
The project description states that the Rough Hat project would include solar modules mounted on fixed-tilt or single-axis horizontal trackers. An onsite substation would have one or more 34.5 kV to 230 kV high-voltage transformers, and the energy storage system would also be on site. The project would be connected to the Trout Canyon substation. During construction Candella expects to employ up to 400 workers.
“Public input on this Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment and Environmental Impact Statement is critical as we continue to evaluate the proposed project,” said BLM Las Vegas Field Manager Bruce Sillitoe. “The most useful comments concern the scope of the environmental impact statement analysis, potential alternatives, and identification of relevant information and studies.”
The project is intended to provide electricity to both Nevada and California. It supports Nevada’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS), which requires that 25% of all electricity generated in Nevada come from renewable sources by 2025 and 50% by 2030. The California Senate passed SB 100, which sets the state’s RPS requirement at 60% by 203, with a goal of 100% from renewable and carbon-free sources by 2045. The Rough Hat project also supports the federal Energy Act of 2020, which permits 25 GW of solar, wind and geothermal production on public lands no later than 2025.
The BLM is currently processing projects, which include solar, wind and geothermal, that have the combined potential to add more than 37 GW of renewable energy to the western electric grid. The BLM reports that it is also in the preliminary review phase of over 195 applications for solar and wind development, as well as 97 applications for solar and wind energy site area testing.
BLM will host one virtual and one in-person public meeting to discuss the Rough Hat Project:
- In-person meeting in Pahrump, Nevada, on January 30, 2024, 6 to 8 p.m. PT at the Pahrump Nugget Hotel and Casino, 681 NV-160, Pahrump, NV 89048.
- Virtual meeting on February 1, 2024, 6 to 8 p.m. PT. Register on the project’s BLM National NEPA Register page.
Written comments may be mailed to the BLM Southern Nevada District Office, Attn: Rough Hat Clark County Solar Project, 4701 N. Torrey Pines Drive, Las Vegas, NV, 89130 or emailed to BLM_NV_SND_EnergyProjects@blm.gov. Comments may also be submitted using the “Participate Now” function at the BLM National NEPA Register project page.
The 90-day comment period will close April 11, 2024. For more information, please contact Whitney Wirthlin, Project Manager, at 725-249-3318 or email BLM_NV_SND_EnergyProjects@blm.gov.
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