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7 solar projects planned in Esmeralda County — how to comment

Bureau of Land Management officials are seeking public comment on a proposal to evaluate the impacts of the proposed Esmeralda 7 (E7) Solar Projects near Tonopah.

If approved, the seven projects are expected to generate a total of up to 5.3 gigawatts of electricity, enough to power approximately 4 million households, BLM officials say.

Approximately 118,631 acres of public lands have been withdrawn from mineral entry for a period of two years in Esmeralda County’s Big Smoky Valley near Tonopah while the projects are being considered.

“This effort is a high priority for BLM Nevada and will be a significant source of renewable energy in support of reaching the country’s clean energy goals,” said Battle Mountain District Manager Doug Furtado. “I am very proud of the work each of these companies have done working together with my staff to ensure a timely and efficient permitting process for the E7 Solar Projects and we look forward to hearing public comment on the proposal.”

The seven projects are:

• Esmeralda Energy Center Project, proposed by Boulevard Associates LLC;

• Gold Dust Solar Project, proposed by Gold Dust Solar LLC;

• Lone Mountain Solar Project, proposed by Lone Mountain Solar LLC;

• Nivloc Energy Project, proposed by Nivloc Solar LLC;

• Red Ridge 1 Project, proposed by 335ES 8me LLC;

• Red Ridge 2 Project, proposed by 336SP 8me LLC; and

• Smoky Valley Solar Project, proposed by CG Western Renewables III LLC.

The proposal to amend the Tonopah Resource Management Plan and prepare an associated Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement will assess potential impacts to air, biological, hydrological, and visual resources, as well as cultural, Native American, socioeconomic, and environmental justice interests.

The publication of a Notice of Intent is expected to publish in the Federal Register next week to open a 30-day public comment period. More information, including maps, planning documents, how to register for virtual public scoping meetings, and instructions on how to submit scoping comments are available at the BLM National NEPA Register.

For more information, please contact Supervisory Project Manager Scott Distel at (775) 635-4093 or sdistel@blm.gov.

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