Bureau of Land Management Processes Copper Rays Solar Project Application

LAS VEGAS – The BLM has completed the initial assessment of the right-of-way application for the Copper Rays Solar Project in coordination with federal, state and local agencies and appropriate tribes; and public awareness.

“After careful consideration of the assessment conducted, the BLM will continue to process the application and proceed with the initiation of the National Environmental Policy Act process,” said Nicholas Pay, Pahrump field office manager. “Wisely deployed renewable energy projects like Copper Rays will contribute to our goals for a clean energy future and help combat the threats of climate change.”

BLM held two virtual information forums on the Zoom platform in December 2021 to gather public feedback. These meetings provided a description of the application evaluation process, information about the proposed Copper Rays solar project, and an opportunity to ask questions and provide comments to the public. The virtual information forums attracted 59 people and 40 comments were received during the two information forums. Additionally, 67 bids were received during the bidding period for the Copper Rays solar project. The BLM also hosted an agency meeting with federal, state, local, and tribal governments for the Pahrump Valley solar projects, including the Copper Rays solar project, and provided a contribution period to the agency. The virtual meeting was attended by 16 agencies and four comment letters were received during the input period. The BLM sent letters and arranged field visits for Native American tribes to gauge initial interest in the project and invite the tribes to initiate formal government-to-government consultation. Review of the feedback BLM has received regarding this project has not raised any issues or concerns that would preclude further processing of this application. Tribal consultation for the Copper Rays solar project is underway.

The next step for the Copper Rays Solar Project in the National Environmental Policy Act process would be the publication of the Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement, which initiates the public scoping process and comment period. Comments made during the initial assessment will be further considered during the National Environmental Policy Act process for the Copper Rays Solar Project.

The Copper Rays Solar Project is a 700 MW solar photovoltaic power generation project and battery storage facility on approximately 5,127 acres of public land managed by BLM, located in the Pahrump Valley, Nye County, just off the county line, southeast of the town of Pahrump and about 40 miles west of Las Vegas.

The BLM manages large tracts of public land that have the potential to make significant contributions to the country’s renewable energy portfolio. To encourage the development of these energy sources, the BLM provides sites for the environmentally sound development of renewable energy on public lands. Efficiently deploying renewable energy from our country’s public lands is crucial to achieving the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of a carbon-free energy sector by 2035, as well as the direction of Congress in the Energy Act of 2020 to allow 25 gigawatts of solar, wind, and geothermal power onto the public domain by 2025.

Further processing of the Copper Rays Solar Project does not render Copper Rays Solar Project approval or license to the Applicant in any way, and does not create any rights or benefits, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by one party against the United States. , its departments, agencies, instruments or entities, its officers or employees, or any other person. The Application Evaluation Package, Entry Summary Report and additional information on the Copper Rays Solar Project are available at https://go.usa.gov/xekXJ.

-BLM-