The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has given approval for a 350-megawatt solar power plant to be constructed on public land in California. The Crimson Solar Project, which will have the capacity to power over 87,500 homes, received its final approval from BLM this week after a long wait.
Sonoran West Solar Holdings, LLC, the company that will be undertaking the project, had applied for permission to build the solar farm on a 2,000-acre piece of land even before the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) came into place. DRECP was created by BLM, the state of California and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in collaboration with Indigenous communities and other organizations, to designate land for renewable energy projects. The Crimson Solar Project falls within the regions that have been set aside for this purpose outlined in DRECP.
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“The time for a clean energy future is now. We must make bold investments that will tackle climate change and create good-paying American jobs,” said Deb Haaland, Secretary of the Interior. “Projects like this can help to make America a global leader in the clean energy economy through the acceleration of responsible renewable energy development on public lands.”
The approved facility will include a photovoltaic farm and energy storage system developed and owned by Sonoran West Solar Holdings. The project will not only help propel the state into a clean energy future but will also provide economic value. It is expected to generate 650 temporary jobs during construction, 10 permanent jobs post-construction and 40 temporary jobs in operation and maintenance.
BLM manages over 245 million acres of land for the American people. Such lands are needed to make way for proper investment into green energy, according to Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Land and Minerals Laura Daniel-Davis.
“America’s public lands provide a tremendous opportunity to realize the potential of renewable energy,” Daniel-Davis said. “BLM is committed to engaging in an inclusive and equitable process in pursuit of a clean energy economy.”
Image via Barney Elo