WASHINGTON – The Department from the Interior today announced the Palen Solar Project, a 457-megawatt photovoltaic facility in Riverside County, California, has arrived at full power operation. The work – that will supply enough energy to power roughly 116,000 homes and includes 50 megawatts of battery storage – represents another major advance within the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to reduce costs for families and make up a clean energy, carbon-free future.
“Bringing another solar project to full operation on the public lands will accelerate our nation’s transition to some clean energy economy by unlocking renewable sources, creating jobs, lowering costs, and boosting local economies,” stated Secretary Deb Haaland. “The Interior Department continuously advance the sustainable growth and development of clean energy to be able to help satisfy the Biden-Harris administration’s objective of 100 % carbon-free electricity by 2035.”
The Palen Solar Project is within a place examined and recognized as appropriate for alternative energy development included in the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Desert Alternative Energy Conservation Plan Land Use Plan Amendment. The Desert Alternative Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) is really a landscape-level plan centered on 10.8 million acres of public lands within the desert parts of seven California counties that streamlines alternative energy development while conserving unique and valuable desert environments and supplying outside entertainment possibilities.
“The Desert Alternative Energy Conservation Plan represents an unparalleled partnership that balances our country’s essential goals of facilitating alternative energy while making certain that lands in California’s deserts are positioned aside for conservation and entertainment,” stated Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Laura Daniel-Davis. “As with the Department’s clean energy projects, the Bureau of Land Management has witnessed this project right through to completion with extensive engagement with Tribal governments, local neighborhoods, condition regulators, industry along with other federal agencies.”
In 2018, EDF Alternative Energy received authorization in the BLM to create the solar photovoltaic facility as well as an roughly seven-mile single circuit 230-kilovolt generation interconnection transmission line that will deliver power with the Los Angeles Edison Red Bluff Substation. The Palen Solar Project was finished in five phases beginning in December 2020 in phase one, the work generated 125 megawatts, phase two 100 megawatts, phase three 100 megawatts, phase four 132 megawatts and also the final phase 50 megawatt hrs of battery storage. Today’s announcement of full power operation means all 457 megawatts and 50 megawatts of battery storage are now being generated.
The BLM is presently processing 64 utility-scale onshore clean energy projects suggested on public lands within the western U . s . States. Including solar, wind and geothermal power projects, in addition to interconnect gen-tie lines which are fundamental to clean energy projects suggested on non-federal land. These projects possess the combined possibility to add over 41,000 megawatts of alternative energy towards the western electric grid. The BLM can also be undertaking the preliminary overview of 90 applications for solar and wind development, in addition to 51 applications for solar and wind power energy testing.
Today’s announcement follows several recent alternative energy and conservation approvals through the DRECP. The alternative energy approvals include construction from the Oberon, Arica and Victory Pass solar projects near Desert Center in eastern Riverside County. The Oberon project will generate as much as 500 megawatts of alternative energy, enough to power roughly 146,000 homes, and includes 200 megawatts of battery storage. The Arica and Victory Pass projects can lead to a combined infrastructure investment of approximately $689 million, generate $5.9 million in annual operational economic benefit, provide capacity to roughly 132,000 homes, and equal to 465 megawatts of unpolluted energy generating capacity and 400 megawatts of battery storage.
In June, the BLM arrived at a conservation milestone with the DRECP using the California Department of Fish and Wildlife by approving the JB Eastern Slope Minimization project, that will restore 158,000 acres of BLM-managed public lands included in condition-needed minimization for solar development on private lands.