A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Salazar Celebrates Groundbreaking of Major Nevada Transmission Line
Office of the Secretary
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of the Department of the Interior's ongoing commitment to the development of renewable energy resources on public lands, Secretary Ken Salazar today celebrated the groundbreaking of the One Nevada Transmission Line (ON Line), a 235-mile transmission line in Nevada. Along with Senator Harry Reid and representatives from LS Power, NV Energy and the Department of Energy, Secretary Salazar lauded the project which will help deliver renewable energy to market.
“This line is a smart energy solution that will serve as an important link between Nevada's northern and southern power grids to increase their capacity and reliability,” said Secretary Salazar. “Traveling through several areas under consideration for wind, solar and geothermal power generation projects, this line will provide the critical transmission infrastructure to bring that potential to western communities.”
ON Line is a joint venture of NV Energy and Great Basin Transmission, LLC (an LS Power company). When completed, the 500 kilovolt electrical transmission line will extend from Harry Allen Substation north of Las Vegas to the Thirtymile substation near Ely, Nevada. It will be constructed entirely within the already-established Westwide Energy Corridor which will minimize environmental impacts. Earlier this year the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada approved the project and the agreement between NV Energy and Great Basin.
Secretary Salazar attended the groundbreaking ceremony as the last leg in his three-state renewable energy tour to highlight the Department's efforts and progress to encourage a rapid and responsible move to large-scale production of renewable energy on public lands. Just this month, Secretary Salazar has approved four large-scale solar energy projects on U.S. public lands in California and Nevada. The most recent approval occurred last week with the signing of a Record of Decision for the Silver State North Solar Project, the first-ever utility scale solar energy project on U.S. public lands in Nevada. The 50-megawatt solar facility and associated infrastructure will be built in the Ivanpah Valley, 40 miles south of Las Vegas.
“The One Nevada Transmission Line will add a vital component to the Department and the BLM's renewable energy portfolio,” added Salazar. “As we develop renewable energy projects on public lands in the West and throughout the nation, we can take great pride in knowing that these projects are creating thousands of jobs for American workers and stimulating local economies as we move toward energy independence.”
ON Line represents the southern portion of a 510-mile project known as the Southwest Intertie Project (SWIP). The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is reviewing SWIP in two parts. SWIP-South, now known as ON Line, is the 235-mile southern part for which BLM's Ely District issued a Notice to Proceed with construction on August 19, 2010. Subject to pending FERC approvals, Great Basin and NV Energy plan to begin constructing ON Line in 2010 and anticipate it will be operational by the end of 2012. ON Line will cost approximately $510 million and create an estimated 400 new jobs at the peak of construction.
The second phase of SWIP, comprised of the 275-mile northern portion is known as “SWIP-North,” is being developed by Great Basin. Great Basin anticipates completing all permitting requirements for SWIP-North in 2011. SWIP-North will run from the Midpoint substation near Jerome, Idaho to the Thirtymile substation near Ely, Nevada. Construction of SWIP-North may begin as early as 2011 with an operational date in 2014. SWIP-North will cost approximately $550 million and create about 350 new jobs at height of construction.
Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), Great Basin Transmission, LLC has applied for funding for ON Line with the U.S. Department of Energy's Loan Guarantee Program.
A link to the ON Line fact sheet is available HERE.
The BLM manages 253 million acres – more land than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The BLM accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.