BLM Approves 500MW Solar Project in California

EDF Renewable Energy's facility is slated to provide enough energy to power about 130,000 homes and employ more than 1,000 workers during the project’s peak.

The Bureau of Land Management has authorized the Palen Solar Project, a photovoltaic facility owned by EDF Renewable Energy, to occupy 3,140 acres of BLM-administered lands. The development will be located approximately 10 miles east of Desert Center, north of Interstate 10, in Riverside County, Calif.

EDF Renewable Energy is set to develop a 500-megawatt solar facility and approximately 7-mile single circuit 230-kilovolt generation interconnection transmission line that would deliver power through the Southern California Edison Red Bluff Substation. It will also include a main generation area, on-site substation, switchyard and site security. In addition, the site may potentially include an operations and maintenance facility.

Solid investment

The project is expected to provide enough energy to power about 130,000 homes and employ more than 1,000 workers during the project’s peak, with a construction-related, on-site workforce of more than 550 individuals. The Palen Solar Project is slated to result in a private infrastructure investment of $1 billion, with $67.3 million in annual indirect economic benefit during construction.

“President Trump and Secretary Zinke have called for an all-of-the-above energy strategy that will ensure America’s energy security, while also strengthening our infrastructure in support of the economy,” Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Joseph Balash said in a prepared statement. “The Palen Solar Project will provide benefits to the local community and the region both now and in the future, demonstrating the critical role multiple-use public lands play for the BLM’s neighbors and the nation as a whole.”