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BLM approves Salt Wells Geothermal Energy Projects


blm_logo-150x150-6231995-2275496BLM NEWS RELEASE

CARSON CITY — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Carson City District-Stillwater Field Office has approved the Salt Wells Geothermal Energy Projects proposed by Ormat Nevada, Gradient Resources, and NV Energy by issuing three Records of Decision on the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the projects, which are all located in Churchill County, Nev.  The Salt Wells Geothermal Energy Projects include an NV Energy transmission line that would extend from Fallon south to the Salt Wells area just east of Carson Lake, one geothermal power plant proposed by Ormat Nevada, Inc., and up to six geothermal power plants proposed by Gradient Resources.  The projects are estimated to create about 370 temporary jobs during construction and about 70 permanent jobs.

The BLM issued the final EIS on July 22 which identified the preferred alternative for each of the three projects.  Because of the similar timing, geographic area, and type of action, the BLM analyzed the proposals in one EIS.

The Salt Wells Geothermal Energy Projects EIS was one of the BLM’s priority renewable energy projects, because the projects were “smart from the start,” meaning the projects were designed to be environmentally responsible and were coordinated with county, state and federal agencies. The projects must comply with the conditions of permit for the Nevada Division of Minerals Geothermal Resource Development Permit Application and with applicable rules and regulation of other local, state, and federal agencies.

The Records of Decision and the EIS are posted on-line at: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/carson_city_field/blm_information/nepa/salt_wells_energy.html

Over the past four years, 235 parcels have been sold competitively in Nevada for more than $40 million, nearly half of that amount has come from high bids for geothermal leases sold in Churchill County.  The BLM Stillwater Field Office has approved 10 geothermal exploration projects and seven geothermal power plants this year.  Since 2009, the BLM Stillwater Field Office has permitted more than 475 geothermal notices of intent, geothermal drilling permits, sundry notices and geothermal inspections.

Further inquiries should be directed to Colleen Sievers, Project Manager, 775-885-6000 or e-mail: [email protected].

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