Intersect Power LLC can move ahead with its 500-MW Oberon Solar Project on federal land in Riverside County, Calif., after the Biden administration greenlighted the company’s right-of-way application.
The project, located on roughly 2,700 acres managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, or BLM, includes a battery storage system capable of storing 500 MW for up to four hours and a 500 kV-transmission tie into an existing Southern California Edison Co. substation, according to a Jan. 13 decision record and related documents.
The Biden administration in December 2021 had signaled it would approve the project, along with two other nearby large-scale solar facilities, as part of a joint state-federal plan for balancing renewable energy development with conservation in California deserts.
“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,” Tracy Stone-Manning, BLM director, said in a statement.
The approvals come as the renewable energy industry calls for a “Herculean effort” from the federal government to open more federal lands to development. The administration is targeting 25 GW of renewable energy permits on federal lands by 2025, in line with a goal set in the Energy Act of 2020.