Equilibrium & Sustainability

Biden administration approves third major California solar project

The Biden administration has approved a third major solar project in California, part of a continued drive to achieve carbon-free electricity generation nationwide by 2035.

The Oberon project, authorized by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Thursday, will help meet an Energy Act of 2020 goal of permitting 25 gigawatts of renewable energy on public lands by 2025, the agency said in a news release.

Together with two other recently approved projects — Arica and Victory Pass — Oberon’s construction will bring solar power generation on Californian public lands up to 1,000 megawatts.

“The Oberon Solar Project underscores the Biden Administration’s commitment to reaching carbon-free electricity by 2035,” BLM California State Director Karen Mouritsen said in a statement.

“BLM California continues to make numerous contributions to the nation’s renewable energy portfolio, by identifying public lands with significant solar and wind energy potential and significant geothermal energy resources.”

Oberon will generate up to 500 megawatts of renewable energy — enough to power 142,000 homes — and have capacity for 200 megawatts of battery storage, according to the Interior Department.

Arica and Victory Pass, meanwhile, will be able to power the equivalent of 132,000 homes, generating a total of up to 465 megawatts of electricity with up to 400 megawatts of battery storage.

Construction of Oberon will take place in an area identified as suitable for renewable energy development, under BLM’s Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan land use plan, the agency said. The project is expected to create eight permanent jobs and 750 union construction jobs, the news release said.

“The Oberon Solar Project is another example of how our public lands are playing a key role in contributing to the nation’s renewable energy portfolio,” BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning said. “We’re grateful for the collaboration between Tribal governments, local communities, state regulators, industry, and other federal agencies that is shaping responsible development on America’s public lands for the benefit of current and future generations.”

Equilibrium & Sustainability