US: 500 MW Amargosa solar thermal project given go ahead

Construction of the project is scheduled to begin at the end of next year, in Nye County, Nevada, the U.S.

When completed, the power facility is expected to house two 250 MW units, and will reportedly feature up to 4.5 hours of thermal storage. The total nominal generating capacity of the facility, said Solar Millennium, will be 500 MW, which is enough electricity to power up to 150,000 homes each year.

In addition, the company has said it is working closely with the BLM, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service to develop an “innovative” water mitigation plan. The plan aims to ensure that the project will have a net neutral benefit on the plant and animal species found at nearby Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and at Devils Hole.

It adds that the project should generate around 1,300 direct jobs during the approximate 39-month construction period. When the two-unit facility is fully operational, over 180 permanent operation and maintenance jobs are expected to be created.

In October, the BLM approved the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), a comprehensive public review of the potential impacts of the proposed project on the environment.

Now that the ROD is approved, the Amargosa Farm Road Solar Project will seek approval of the Section 404 Dredge and Fill permit from the U.S. Corps of Engineers and will pursue other State of Nevada and local permits. These approvals are expected to be obtained over the next several months, before the project will be allowed to proceed with construction.