The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has granted approval for a transmission line and water pipeline project related to the licensed Eagle Crest Energy Hydroelectric Pumped Storage Project in Riverside County, California.
The BLM approval takes forward the administration’s goals of promoting America’s energy independence and supporting infrastructure needs.
The $2.5bn Eagle Crest Energy project is expected to provide hydroelectric power to 900,000 homes, create 4,300 jobs during construction and 360 jobs annually during operation.
The BLM approval authorises a right-of-way for the construction, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of a 500kV, 12-mile transmission line and water supply pipeline on BLM-managed public lands near Desert Center, 30 miles west of Blythe.
BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Manager Doug Herrema said: “Our public lands provide for a wide variety of uses, including opportunities to facilitate secure, American-generated energy to our local communities.
“This right-of-way is anticipated to transmit hydroelectric energy to power 900,000 homes in California each year.”
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted approval for the Eagle Crest Energy Hydroelectric Pumped Storage Project in 2014. The project will provide electricity from renewable sources for communities in southern California.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska. It also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the country.
The BLM’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.
Diverse activities authorised on these lands have generated $75bn in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2016, more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior.
These activities have supported more than 372,000 jobs.
In another initiative, the BLM has completed a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and is seeking public comments for the proposed Rawhide Mining Regent expansion in Mineral County, Nevada. Public comments will be accepted through 31 August 2018.
The proposed development of the project will include construction, mining (ore and waste rock) and heap leach activities associated with the Regent area expansion and the Denton-Rawhide Mine area on both private and BLM-administered public land.
Image: Eagle Mountain in California. Photo: courtesy of Bureau of Land Management, California.