Draft Environmental Assessment for the Center for Commercialization of Electric Technology (Ccet), Reese Technology Center (Rtc) Wind and Battery Integration Project, Lubbock County, Texas (Doe/EA-1939d) by National Energy Technology Laboratory, U S Department of Energy (Paperback / softback, 2013)
DOE prepared this EA to evaluate the potential environmental consequences of providing a financial assistance grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act; Public Law 111-5, 123 Stat. 115) to the Center for Commercialization of Electric Techlogy (CCET) to demonstrate battery techlogy integration with wind generated electricity by deploying and evaluating utility-scale lithium battery techlogy to improve grid performance and thereby aid in the integration of wind generation into the local electricity supply. This EA analyzes the potential environmental impacts of DOE's proposed action of providing the Recovery Act funding and of the No-Action Alternative. In this EA, DOE evaluated potential environmental consequences from a portion of the overall project that would involve land disturbance. Other portions are described as major elements of the project, but because they involve only installation of equipment in existing facilities, they do t involve potential for significant environmental impact and are t evaluated further. With regard to the land disturbing actions considered in this EA, DOE evaluated impacts to air quality, ise, aesthetics and visual resources, surface water resources, biological resources, and areas of environmental concern. After performing a screening analysis of other environmental resource areas, DOE concluded that impacts to some aspects of the environment would t be likely to occur or would be negligible. The proposed project would be designed in compliance with federal and state air quality regulations, would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and would have a net beneficial impact on air quality in the region. New construction would involve: (1) above ground and underground 12.5 kV distribution lines, (2) 1.5 MW storage battery facility and foundation, (3) an access road, and (4) site clearing. Two wind turbines and foundations would also be constructed as part of the proposed action. Although DOE is t funding the wind turbines, the effects will be assessed as a connected action, as it is part of the overall action. Operation of the proposed project would t result in any increase in ise in the vicinity. The aesthetics of the RTC and along the easements would change with the addition of the above ground distribution lines, which would be along 5.5 miles of right-of-way utility easements, storage battery facility, access road, and wind turbines. There are two alternatives for the aboveground distribution lines; Option A extends through agricultural fields and Option B along county roads. The storage battery facility is proposed to be 20 by 40 feet with a 20 foot wide by 600 foot long access road. The wind turbines will t adversely affect the aesthetics as the location since it is in an open field with limited development in the area, and there is an existing wind turbine already on-site at the RTC along with several transmission and meteorological towers near the proposed location. Clearing of 3 acres for the proposed project on the RTC site would t significantly impact any plant or animal species population because: (1) the project site has previously been disturbed; (2) the project site is currently vacant land that is isolated from larger tracts of undisturbed land; and (3) because plant and animal species found there are expected to be widespread in the region or, for sensitive species, the area is t unique habitat. The whooping crane, which is an endangered species under the federal Endangered Species Act, occurs in Lubbock County. However, the habitat needed for the whooping crane is t located within the vicinity of the project.
National Energy Technology Laboratory, U S Department of Energy