Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009 | 1:58 p.m.
The Bureau of Land Management has guaranteed fast tracked decisions on 24 renewable energy projects and seven transmission lines across the West, including several projects in Nevada.
Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey guaranteed the environmental review and public comment process for for the 31 projects would be processed as quickly as possible. He said most would be able to meet the Dec. 2010 deadline for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding.
The fast tracked projects must still undergo the full environmental review and public comment periods required by the National Environmental Protection Act.
Each project was selected for expedited processing because of how far the developers had already made it through the environmental review process.
Most projects listed for Nevada have completed the initial scoping phase of the BLM environmental review and are being evaluated for environmental impact statements.
“The fast-track process is about focusing our staff and resources on the most promising renewable energy projects, not about cutting corners, especially when it comes to environmental analyses or opportunities for public participation,” Abbey said in a statement.
The BLM this year has assigned staff to new Renewable Energy Coordination Offices in six western states, including Nevada, to assist in processing the applications.
The Nevada-area projects are:
Solar Millennium's Amargosa solar thermal power plant.
NexLight's Silver State solar photovoltaic arrays in Primm
SolarReserve's Crescent Dunes solar thermal with heat storage array near Tonopah.
BrightSource's Ivanpah solar thermal array 5 miles southwest of Primm on the California side of the border.
Duke Energy's Searchlight wind project
Spring Valley Wind project
Ormat's Jersey Valley
Ormat's McGuinness Hills
NV Energy's OneNevada
LS Power's Southwest Intertie project (review already completed and project approved.)
A list of all the fast track renewable energy and transmission projects is here.