Sapphire Solar Project


SCH Number
Lead Agency
Riverside County
Document Title
Sapphire Solar Project
Document Type
NOP - Notice of Preparation of a Draft EIR
Present Land Use
Open Space, Rural and Agriculture (County) and A-1-20 (Light Agriculture) and W-2-10 (Controlled Development Areas) (County); Development Focus Area; Solar Energy Zone (BLM)
Document Description
EDF Renewables Development Inc. (EDFR) on behalf of Sapphire Solar, LLC (“Applicant”) proposes to entitle, construct, operate, maintain, and decommission the Project. The Project would include a utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) electrical generating and storage facility and associated infrastructure to generate and deliver renewable electricity to the statewide electricity transmission grid. The proposed Project would generate and store up to 117 megawatts (MW) of renewable electricity via arrays of solar PV panels, battery energy storage system (BESS), and appurtenant facilities. As previously stated, the Project would include a 230-kV gen-tie line, access roads, and collector line routes, collectively referred to as “Linear Facility Routes.” The Linear Facility Routes are located on federal public lands administered by BLM and designed to support the proposed Project, which is located on adjacent private lands. Each of the three 200-foot wide Linear Facility Routes has been included to provide flexibility as it relates to potential California Independent System Operator (CAISO) interconnection options and County Fire Department emergency access requirements. Refer to Figures 1 through 3 for locations of the three Linear Facility Routes. The locations and lengths of the three potential Linear Facility Routes are as follows: Linear Facility Route #1 is approximately 1.6 miles long and located along the top northwest corner of the Project site, Linear Facility Route #2 is approximately 1.6 miles long and located toward the northwest corner of the Project site (south of Linear Facility Route #1), and Linear Facility Route #3 is approximately 1.4 miles long and located along the east side of the Project site. The Project is anticipated to be online in late 2025. The Applicant is seeking a minimum 39-year Conditional Use Permit (CUP) (CUP 220035) for the construction, operation, and decommissioning of the proposed solar facility, as well as a Public Use Permit (PUP) (PUP 220002) for portions of the Project that would traverse County Roads (State Route 177/Rice Road or Kaiser Road). The Applicant is also seeking cancellation of Williamson Act contracts within the Project site, which will be considered as part of the Project’s permitting process. The Applicant is also seeking to vacate roadways dedicated to the public but not accepted by the County that traverse the internal portions of the Project. Roads along the Project perimeter on the outside of the solar facility would remain dedicated public access as applicable. Ancillary permits, including encroachment permits, grading and construction permits, and certificates of occupancy, are anticipated from the County. These permits and approvals are local ministerial actions that will follow California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance.

Contact Information

Tim Wheeler
Agency Name
County of Riverside
Job Title
Project Planner
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


Desert Center
Cross Streets
Approximately 3.5 miles north of Interstate 10
Total Acres
Parcel #
Refer to NOC
State Highways
State Route 177
Desert Center Airport
5S, 4S

Notice of Completion

State Review Period Start
State Review Period End
State Reviewing Agencies
California Air Resources Board (ARB), California Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy (CVMC), California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Inland Deserts Region 6 (CDFW), California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), California Department of Parks and Recreation, California Department of Transportation, District 8 (DOT), California Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics (DOT), California Department of Transportation, Division of Transportation Planning (DOT), California Department of Water Resources (DWR), California Energy Commission, California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES), California Highway Patrol (CHP), California Natural Resources Agency, California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Colorado River Basin Region 7 (RWQCB), California State Lands Commission (SLC), Department of Toxic Substances Control, Office of Historic Preservation, State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Quality, California Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC)
State Reviewing Agency Comments
California Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC)
Development Types
Power:Solar (Megawatts 117)
Local Actions
Use Permit
Project Issues
Aesthetics, Agriculture and Forestry Resources, Air Quality, Biological Resources, Cultural Resources, Cumulative Effects, Drainage/Absorption, Flood Plain/Flooding, Geology/Soils, Growth Inducement, Hazards & Hazardous Materials, Hydrology/Water Quality, Land Use/Planning, Mineral Resources, Noise, Population/Housing, Public Services, Recreation, Schools/Universities, Septic System, Sewer Capacity, Solid Waste, Transportation, Vegetation, Wetland/Riparian, Wildfire
Local Review Period Start
Local Review Period End


Draft Environmental Document [Draft IS, NOI_NOA_Public notices, OPR Summary Form, Appx,]
Notice of Completion [NOC] Transmittal form
State Comment Letters [Comments from state reviewing agencies]

Disclaimer: The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) accepts no responsibility for the content or accessibility of these documents. To obtain an attachment in a different format, please contact the lead agency at the contact information listed above. You may also contact the OPR via email at or via phone at (916) 445-0613. For more information, please visit OPR’s Accessibility Site.

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