Lakeview residents had been noticing work being done on properties that have been proposed for the Blue Marmot Solar Park in Lakeview. A statement from EDP Renewables, the company is building the project, said its contractors have been working on conducting more studies before they submit a revised Notice of Intent (NOI) with the Oregon Energy Facilities Siting Council.

EDP Renewables began working on the proposed 60 megawatt facility that would encompass approximately 5,170 acres across several locations around Lakeview in January 2018. Since that initial application with the Siting Council, EDP Renewables has gone through one public comment period.

Over a year after the initial comment period ended, EDP requested an extension of the Notice of Intent with the Siting Council in November 2019 with a new expiration date for January 2021.

In a statement Blair Matocha, communications manager for EDP Renewables North America, said that the company has sent out another introductory letter and has increased the presence of their contractor Surveying and Mapping (SAM) for site investigations for wetlands, habitat, cultural and American Land Title Association surveying and that geotechnical studies will begin shortly. As part of the process Matocha said that they will be hiring a local representative soon to help with public engagement and potentially hold public meetings about the project.

While some local residents complained on Facebook about the contractors going onto property without permission, Matocha said that the SAM contractors are required to respect private property rights and only access parcels with permission from the landowners.

With the project not really moving forward until recently, 350 adjacent landowners received a packet from EDP Renewables about the scope and purpose of the project. Matocha said this was to reintroduce the project to the public, as it has been a couple of years since it was first proposed.

According to the packet that EDP Renewables sent out, each of the five sites will produce 10 megawatts of electricity — enough to power 12,000 homes in Oregon. EDP plans to be operational in 2022 if they remain on schedule.

Part of the packet includes information on the economic benefits of the project including $10 million paid to local governments over the life of the project, money paid to landowners on whose project the project is built, and the creation of jobs both during the construction phase and to help operate the project after it is completed.

There would be five generation sites, three to the west of Lakeview, including two along Hwy 140 heading toward Klamath Falls, two sites to the south of Lakeview and the largest piece would be heading north along Hwy 395. As part of the process, electricity lines will be built from each location and will meet at a substation proposed in Lakeview, which would connect with existing grid capacity.

From each site EDP will build a new 34.5 kilovolt transmission line, which in their original Notice of Intent would either be built underground or on overhead lines. The proposed central substation would be built on the south end of Lakeview, near the sewer ponds on Stock Drive. From there a 115 kilovolt transmission line will be built to a Point of Interconnection with the existing transmission line running through the area, along the PacificCorp Chiloquin to Alturas line.

After EDP Renewables revises itsNotice of Intent with the Siting Council, there will be another round of public comment before the Siting Council makes it final decision.

For more information contact Development Project Mgr. Eric Desmarais at 503-347-2888.

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