US Advances 1 GW Solar For Public Lands

BLM Approves 465 MW Solar+400 MW Energy Storage In California

US Advances 1 GW Solar For Public Lands

As the US BLM targets 25 GW of solar PV capacity by 2025 on its managed lands, it has cleared 465 MW capacity in the form of 2 solar and storage projects with another 500 MW facility to be approved soon. (Illustrative Photo; Photo Credit: abriendomundo/Shutterstock.com)

  • US Interior Department has cleared Arica and Victory Pass solar projects in California with 465 MW combined PV capacity and 400 MW battery storage
  • There is another 500 MW Oberon Solar Project that’s due to be approved by the BLM in the near term
  • Together these 3 projects will add around 1 GW of solar power capacity in California, under DRECP

The US Department of the Interior has given clearance to 2 utility scale solar power plants with 465 MW combined capacity, to be accompanied by up to 400 MW of battery storage to come up on public lands in California’s Riverside County. Another 500 MW Oberon PV project will be approved in the near future as part of efforts to promote onshore renewable energy production in the country.

While Arica Solar Project is planned to have 265 MW, Victory Pass Solar Project will be built as a 200 MW facility, and both will be developed by indirect subsidiaries of Clearway Energy Group LLC that acquired SunPower’s 4.7 GW utility scale solar power development pipeline in September 2018 (see Clearway Acquires SunPower’s 4.7 GW PV Pipeline).

These 3 solar projects, approved by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), with around 1 GW of capacity are the initial projects approved under Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) that aims to use 10.8 million acres of desert regions of 7 California counties for renewable energy while conserving native ecosystems. Altogether, these facilities are likely to incur an infrastructure investment of $689 million.

Under US Congress directions, the Interior Department is mandated to permit 25 GW of solar, wind and geothermal energy on public lands by 2025 which will be helpful in the country achieving a CO2 free power sector by 2035.

Interior Department Secretary Deb Haaland said the department will continue to work in partnership with states, cities and tribes to make ‘historic investments in boosting climate resiliency, advancing clean energy projects, and replacing aging infrastructure’.

There are 54 more utility scale onshore clean energy projects proposed on public lands that the BLM is currently processing. If and when cleared, these projects will add more than 27.5 GW of renewable energy to the country’s western electric grid.

As of November 2021, BLM had approved 36 wind, 37 solar and 48 geothermal projects on its managed lands, representing over 12 GW of power.

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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