Presentation on theme: "1 Lessons Learned on Permitting on BLM Land The Calico Solar Project November 15, 2010."— Presentation transcript:
1 Lessons Learned on Permitting on BLM Land The Calico Solar Project November 15, 2010
22 History of Calico Solar Won an RFP with SCE in 2004 and executed a PPA in 2005 Began work on finding the ideal location in 2004/2005 Farm land not considered due to size necessary for efficiency, cost & possible backlash Worked with the Barstow field office of the BLM to find the ideal location Site was adjusted a few times in the early years to avoid the ACEC for example Site was chosen based on: Previously disturbed….. 8 pipelines running through the site, BNSF railroad runs through the site, previously used as grazing land, old mine on site, an old well on site and various open routes cutting through the site In a utility corridor Nearness to transmission….. SCEs Pisgah substation No one else yet in queue A lot of work put into the selection process both by BLM and Tessera Solar
33 Calico Solar – Original 8,230 Acre Site (Do we have a better map? Note the old access road, etc.)l
44 Technology to be Deployed Stirling Energy Systems SunCatcher A solar thermal technology Highlights include: Made in America Minimal grading Ability to build on up to a 10% slope Modularity allows for building around land features Once built, vegetation between rows can grow back and under SunCatchers can grow back to a low level Low water usage Lets put in a picture of the SunCatcher here, and if Ive missed any of our pluses, please add them in above.
55 Implications of Using Solar Thermal Technology in California Thermal energy is permitted in California by the California Energy Commission (CEC). Thus, Calico needed to undergo a dual permitting process…..BLM & CEC. Negotiated and executed a joint permitting MOU between the BLM & CEC to facilitate the process. Began Application for Certification (AFC) process at CEC jointly while developing POD with BLM. As result, had various agencies involved: CEC BLM USFWS CDFG Some regional boards County of San Bernardino
66 Key Elements Siting Surveys and Studies Special Status Species Hydrology Filing with Agencies BLM: SF-299 and Plan of Development CEC: Application for Certification Required submittals Resource Areas Workshops Lease Mitigation Heavy duty costs involved amounting to double digit millions Negotiation with the REAT and the individual agencies throughout the process
7 7 Calico Solar Project Site Today……. What Happened???? NORTH
88 Calico Solar – Revised Site Site Size – up to 663.5 MW Land – 4,613 acres (originally 8,230) acres BLM lease Location – San Bernardino County, CA; 35 miles east of Barstow DNI – 7.5 annual – 56,542 kWh/yr/SunCatcher Transmission Interconnection to SCE Pisgah Substation Phase I – 275 MW Phase II – 388.5 MW Permitting Permitting completed; BLM grant and CEC certification EPC Phase 1a – Mobilization for construction Q4 2010 Phase 1b – Mobilization for construction Q2 2011 Phase 2 – Mobilization for construction Q4 2013(Occurs with expansion of Pisgah Substation), PPA Signed PPA with Southern California Edison for full 850 MW Advantageous site High insolation (7.5 kWh/m 2 /day), Relatively flat and large contiguous area Low wind speed Proximity to transmission infrastructure. Adjacent to the SCE Pisgah Substation.
99 What Happened in Summary Determined that we could build on a smaller site…. A good thing CEC process very different from BLM process; dual permitting proved to be a challenge Much negotiation took place with the agencies and between the agencies on the site as well as the mitigation Found many more desert tortoise than anticipated Wildlife corridors took on a new dimension Site was not recognized as being previously disturbed….pristine desert habitat One of several projects sited for the desert, so lots of attention New push for solar development on farm land rather than pristine desert
11 Key Lessons Learned (1) BLM land is just as expensive as agricultural land Agricultural land is more attractive to environmentalists today, but could swing the other way tomorrow Desk top surveys are simply not enough to guide in siting In a perfect world, all lands would be surveyed now to determine what should be avoided and what not Water, water, water Avoid the railroad
12 Key Lessons Learned (2) Meet with everyone that could possibly impact your project and engage them as part of the process as much as possible upfront Request more land than you need…… count on a negotiation Plan on more time than you expect Build in as much flexibility as possible without others knowing Count on 3:1 mitigation as a given; anything less is gravy Compliance is an enormous task; start early People, people, people…..relationships will help you
13 Summary Calico Solar permitting process has been extremely dynamic One of the most complicated negotiations ever Challenging on many fronts A success