Ormat Technologies

Piping runs along Grass Valley Road May 2014 near Ormat Technologies Inc.’s McGuinness Hills geothermal power plant.

Elko Daily Free Press file

BATTLE MOUNTAIN – The Bureau of Land Management, Mount Lewis Field Office, completed its analysis of Ormat Inc.’s proposal for an expansion to its McGinness Hills Geothermal Facility.

This newest expansion is being referred to as Phase III and will consist of access roads, a pipeline, a power plant, wells and transmission line. Total new disturbance for this expansion is estimated at 42 acres, as the majority of work will be completed on the previously analyzed Phase I and Phase II footprint.

The decision record allows operations to begin at the Phase III project site. The final environmental assessment, announced Jan. 18, included extensive coordination with the Nevada Department of Wildlife, as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, tribal governments and other interested parties.

Alternatives in the EA examined the expansion’s range of potential issues such as air quality, cultural resources, wildlife and wildlife habitat, Native American religious concerns, threatened and endangered species, minerals, noise, grazing management, access and land use, and social and economic values.

“This decision is in accordance with BLM priorities, including making America safe through energy independence, getting America back to work and shared conservation,” said District Manager Douglas Furtado. “The Battle Mountain District has a heavy focus on the responsible development of energy and mineral projects. This geothermal expansion will increase the clean energy capacity within Nevada, create new jobs and stimulate the local economy and energy market.”

The first portion of the McGinness Hills geothermal plant, about 70 miles south of Battle Mountain, was established in July 2012.

For more information, visit the BLM ePlanning webpage at https://go.usa.gov/xnvzd, and hardcopies of documents are available for review at the Mount Lewis Field Office during regular business hours, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Watch for more details about the McGinness Hills Geothermal Facility in the spring 2017 issue of Mining Quarterly.

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