US DOI okays two new solar projects for California


The US Department of the Interior (DOI) has approved the construction of Arica and Victory Pass solar projects near Desert Center of eastern Riverside County in California.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Palm Springs South Coast Field Office issued the ‘Notice to Proceed’ to Clearway Energy in this regard.

The two projects have a combined planned capacity of up to 465MW of solar and 400MW of energy storage. They would supply power to nearly 132,000 homes.

Arica and Victory Pass represent a joint investment of $689m and are expected to generate $5.9m in annual operational economic benefit.

During peak construction works, the projects are expected to create over 1,000 jobs.

DOI Land and Minerals Management principal deputy assistant secretary Laura Daniel-Davis said: “The efficient deployment of renewable energy projects is crucial to lower costs for families, support good paying jobs, and achieve the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035.

“Combined with the historic investments from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we will continue to work in partnership with states, cities and tribes to boost climate resiliency, advance clean energy projects, and replace aging infrastructure.”

The approval is a step towards fulfilling the government’s plan to facilitate production of 25 gigawatts of solar, wind and geothermal energy on public lands by 2025.

The Arica and Victory Pass solar projects will come up in desert regions that are suitable for renewable energy development under the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan.

At present, BLM is working on processing 67 onshore clean energy projects planned to be built on public lands in western US.

BLM director Tracy Stone-Manning said: “Renewable energy development on BLM-managed public lands will continue to help communities across the country be part of the climate solution, while creating jobs and boosting local economies.

“The BLM has approved more than 120 renewable energy projects on public land generating more than 12,000MW.”

Image:The approval for Arica and Victory Pass solar projects is aimed at modernising US power infrastructure. Credit: USA.Gov - BLM - Bureau of Land Management/

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