BLM Approves $550 Million Crimson Solar Project in California Desert

BLM Approves $550 Million Crimson Solar Project in California Desert

The United States Interior Department has announced that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has given final approval to a Crimson solar energy project on public lands in the California desert.

The Crimson Solar Project is capable of delivering enough power to energize approximately 87,500 homes, it has an estimated investment of USD 550 million.

What’s all about the project?

The Crimson Solar project will be set up on 2,000 acres of BLM-administered land 13 miles west of Blythe, in the Desert of California.

This solar project will be a photovoltaic facility owned by Sonoran West Solar Holdings, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Recurrent Energy, LLC. The construction of the project is to provide 650 temporary jobs. 

Although the project application pre-dates the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), the Crimson Solar Project is located within one of the areas designated for development, known as Development Focus Areas, by the DRECP. Through the DRECP process, the BLM, State of California, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service worked diligently with renewable energy developers, the conservation community, Tribes, local government, and others over several years to identify areas appropriate for renewable energy development and areas that should be conserved.

Also, it will provide 40 temporary jobs and 10 permanent jobs, featuring 350 MW of solar photovoltaic facility and 350 MW of energy storage system. It is a part of Biden’s plan to accelerate the development of renewable energy on public land and water through Southern California Edison Colorado River Substation.

What plans does Prez have?

The US President Joe Biden signed a USD 2 million infrastructure proposal to curb the Greenhouse gas emissions in the US. Also, his plan proposed USD 100 billion to update the electric grid system in the country and make it more resilient to climate disasters.

The President declared that the US will achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, during the Leaders Summit on Climate hosted by the US. 

When this project was announced?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register a notice announcing the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) titled “Crimson Solar Project Final Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Land Use Amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area Plan”, on February 12, 2021. 

Speaking of the project, Secretary Deb Haaland stated, “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. 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 BLM California is proud to support responsible development of renewable energy projects as part of our mission to sustainably manage public lands,” commented State Director of the BLM California Karen Mouritsen. 

“The Crimson Solar project showcases the agency’s commitment to meeting California’s energy and economic needs with 21st Century technology,” Karen added. 

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Bhoomika Singh

Bhoomika is a science graduate, with a strong interest in seeing how technology can impact the environment. She loves covering the intersection of technology, environment, and the positive impact it can have on the world accordingly.