Feds give final OK to desert solar, transmission projects

The Bureau of Land Management is moving forward with renewable development in the desert this month, including issuing final construction approval for the Oberon solar project on about 2,600 acres near Interstate 10 in eastern Riverside County, and greenlighting a major transmission line from western Arizona to Blythe , California to help carry more power.

Both actions are part of a push by the Biden Administration to significantly ramp up renewable development in the southwest.

The BLM Palm Springs office on July 13 announced it had authorized a subsidiary of Intersect Power to build the 500 megawatt Oberon renewable energy project, enough to power approximately 146,000 homes and 200 megawatts of battery storage.

“This solar project is the third project approved for full construction under the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan and an example of how public land in California plays a big role in achieving the Biden-Harris administration’s goal to achieve 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2035 ,” Karen Mouritsen, BLM California State director, said in a statement. “The BLM is committed to responsible renewable energy development that balances conservation and utilization of public land.”

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