The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Safford Field Office is continuing to assess the Dry Lake Wind Project in Navajo County. The BLM issued its Environmental Assessment (EA) and unsigned Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on February 12 and was available for public review through March 28. Many public comments on the 200-page EA were submitted, all of which required careful review and consideration.
“The BLM supports renewable energy development on public lands,” said BLM Safford Field Manager Scott Cooke. “At the same time we must ensure that all environmental and socioeconomic concerns are addressed in our analysis, and this takes time.”
Construction of the wind turbine development was first proposed in 2007 by PPM Wind Energy, now called Iberdrola Renewables. Part of the BLM’s requirements for the right-of-way approval for the Dry Lake Wind Project is proof that Iberdrola has Power Purchase Agreements with one or more energy companies. Iberdrola’s announcement, via their July 28 news release, that they have reached such an agreement with Salt River Project for purchase of all the energy produced in Phase 1 is an important step in that direction.
The BLM is still working with other reviewing entities on both general and site-specific details and stipulations. Once that process is complete, and it is determined that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is not required, a signed Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and Decision Record will be issued by the BLM detailing what has been approved along with any required mitigation and monitoring measures.
The Dry Lake Wind Project would be located north-northwest of Snowflake, just east of State Highway 377 and southwest of the I-40 corridor. The first phase would include up to approximately 30 wind turbines capable of generating 63 megawatts (MW) of power, along with access roads, an interconnection substation, an operations & maintenance facility, and collector lines to transmit the generated energy to the substation. Future phases could include comparable facilities able to provide a total of up to 314 MW of additional wind energy. The total number of turbines would be between 105 and 209.
For more information about the proposed project, contact BLM realty specialist Roberta Lopez, the lead for the Dry Lake Wind Project, at 928-348-4437 or Roberta_Lopez@blm.gov.
Bureau of Land Management Safford Field Office Roberta Lopez, 928-348-4437
Diane Drobka, 928-348-4403
Copyright Business Wire 2008
29 July 2008
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