Biden administration receives approval for two major solar projects in California

The Biden administration announced on Tuesday it has received approval from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for two major solar energy projects on California land.

BLM put out its formal announcement on Tuesday, saying on its website, “The Bureau of Land Management has approved the Arica and Victory Pass solar projects near Desert Center in eastern Riverside County. These are the first projects to be located within areas identified as suitable for renewable energy development as part of the BLM’s Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan.”

The projects are estimated by BLM to result in “$5.9 million in annual operational economic benefit, and power approximately 132,000 homes.” A third project, which will work alongside the first two to generate approximately 1,000 megawatts of power.

The trio of solar projects are the first to be approved under the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning said in the Department of the Interior’s Tuesday announcement, “The efficient deployment of renewable energy projects will create good-paying jobs and are crucial in achieving the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035.” 

BLM seeks to expand its solar agenda to other states in the region. BLM said in its Tuesday statement it is “soliciting interest for utility-scale solar energy development on nearly 90,000 acres of public land located across Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico.”

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland told reporters on Tuesday the Biden administration “fully intend(s) to meet our clean energy goals.”

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