The 485-MW Blythe solar complex and its 387-MW battery storage system in California’s Riverside County are fully operational, the Department of the Interior announced on Wednesday.
The photovoltaic (PV) park consists of four units – two 110-MW plants and another two of 125 MW – and will be capable of generating enough electricity for around 145,500 homes. Located on public land areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the solar farm complex was installed in phases that were initiated between January 2015 and November 2020.
The Blythe project was permitted as part of California’s Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). The scheme was originated as a 1-GW parabolic trough concentrated solar park by Palo Verde Solar I LLC, a subsidiary of Solar Millenium, which filed for bankruptcy in 2012. The technology was changed to solar photovoltaic (PV) after the project was acquired by NextEra Blythe Solar Energy Center LLC, a unit of NextEra Energy Inc.
BLM noted it is currently processing 64 utility-scale clean energy projects on public lands in the western US that could add more than 41,000 MW of renewable generation capacity to the western electric grid. Last month, it announced the full commissioning of the 457-MW Palen solar complex in California’s Riverside County, sited on federal lands.
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