EIS to start on giant solar energy plant near Buckeye
The BLM is starting the EIS process for a solar power center near Buckeye, west of Phoenix. The 375-megawatt facility will cover 4,000 acres with collectors within a 14,000 acre block.
This is one of the first, if not the first full review of a major solar energy plant on public lands and I have to wonder how it will fare. The block of land abuts the Sonoran Desert Monument to the south and other protected lands lie just west.
Will opposition surface to an industrial power plant covering 6 square miles? Will the promise of non-fossil fuel renewable energy quell any concerns about land and water use in the area?
The number of solar plant applications and amount of land proposed across Arizona and the West are impressive. BLM has recognized the potential for conflicts over millions of acres proposed for development.
This process deserves to be watched closely as a harbinger of how large-scale renewable energy projects will fare.