Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Service Seeks Public Comment for New Solar Complex

Dec 22, 2011

For Immediate Release:
December 22, 2011

Media Contacts:

Robert Moler, robert_moler@fws.gov, (916) 414-6606
Sarah Swenty, sarah_swenty@fws.gov, (916) 414-6571

Service Seeks Public Comment for New Solar Complex

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will study the environmental impacts for Maricopa Sun’s proposed solar energy facility in Kern County. Maricopa Sun, LLC is requesting an incidental take permit for five federally listed endangered species and 14 California special status species. In order to receive an incidental take permit, Maricopa Sun, LLC must develop a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). The Service will then evaluate the impacts of both the project and a no-action alternative. The Service is seeking public input on the project with a comment period closing on February 23, 2012.

The permit requested by Maricopa Sun, LLC would cover impacts to at-risk species associated with construction, operation, and decommissioning of a 700 megawatt solar facility. The permit would also cover the HCP conservation actions for the project site that covers 6,766 acres in southwest Kern County, California. The project is made up of multiple parcels and located approximately six to 20 miles east of Taft along South Lake Road and along Copus Road.

More information, including the notice that will publish in tomorrow's Federal Register is available at http://www.fws.gov/sacramento/outreach/2011/12-22/outreach_newsroom_2011-12-22.htm.

Open source, high resolution images of some of the affected species can be found on our Flickr page here: http://bit.ly/rVoPtS.  Please ensure the proper photo credit is given.