DOI Approves Three Renewable Energy Projects in Arizona and Nevada

June 12, 2013

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) on June 3 announced the approval of three major renewable energy projects in Arizona and Nevada that are expected to deliver up to 520 megawatts to the electricity grid. When built, the projects will generate enough power for nearly 200,000 homes.

The 350-megawatt Midland Solar Energy Project and the 70-megawatt New York Canyon Geothermal Project are located in Nevada. The Midland Solar Project will be built on private lands about 7 miles southwest of Boulder City, Nevada, and will cross 76 acres of federal transmission corridor. The New York Canyon Geothermal Project and electrical transmission facility will be built on 15,135 acres of land managed by the DOI's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) about 25 miles east of Lovelock, Nevada, in Pershing County.

The 100-megawatt Quartzsite Solar Energy Project, located on 1,600 acres of BLM-managed lands in La Paz County, Arizona, will use concentrating solar power (CSP) "power tower" technology with integrated thermal energy storage. Power tower technologies use mirrors in heliostats to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a central tower to produce heat, where liquid molten salt captures and stores the thermal energy which is then used to produce electricity. CSP systems are distinguished from other solar energy technologies by their ability to store energy as heat, so that consumer demand can be met even when the sun is not shining, including during the night.

The BLM has identified an additional 15 active renewable energy proposals slated for review this year and next. BLM identified these projects through a process that emphasizes early consultation and collaboration with its sister agencies at DOI:—the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service. See the DOI press release.