California Desert Sunlight Battery Energy Storage System Unleashed

California Desert Sunlight Battery Energy Storage System Unleashed
The Desert Sunlight Battery Energy Storage System in California is now fully operational.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has announced that the 230-megawatt (MW) Desert Sunlight Battery Energy Storage System in California is now fully operational.

Described by the BLM as another step towards achieving a clean energy future and meeting the Biden-Harris administration’s goal to achieve 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2035, the project is situated on 94 acres of BLM-managed public lands near Desert Center in Riverside County. It will help relieve the demand on the electrical grid by storing renewable energy generated from the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm and allow for consistent energy delivery during peak hours when the system may not be generating energy, the BLM noted.

The Desert Sunlight battery storage system is in an area analyzed and identified as suitable for renewable energy development as part of the BLM’s Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan Land Use Plan Amendment. The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan is described as a landscape-level plan focused on 10.8 million acres of public lands in the desert regions of seven California counties that streamlines renewable energy development while conserving unique and valuable desert ecosystems and providing outdoor recreation opportunities.

“Battery storage systems like this one play an important role in meeting energy demands and increasing energy security,” BLM California State Director Karen Mouritsen said in a BLM statement.

“The BLM remains committed to investing in clean and reliable renewable energy projects to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Mouritsen added.

Sunlight Solar LLC received authorization from the BLM to construct the Desert Sunlight Battery Energy Storage System within the Desert Sunlight Solar facilities back in 2021.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) announced that the Palen Solar Project, a 457-megawatt photovoltaic facility in Riverside County, had reached full power operation. The project will supply enough energy to power approximately 116,000 homes and includes 50 megawatts of battery storage, according to the DOI.

Also this month, the BLM Las Vegas Field Office revealed that it will host a virtual public information forum on September 1 to gather public input on the Townsite Solar 2 Project proposed on approximately 80 acres of BLM-managed public land in Clark County, four miles southwest of Boulder City.

Skylar Energy Resources has applied for a right-of-way grant for the construction, operation and eventual decommissioning of a proposed 19 MW photovoltaic solar power project on BLM managed public land, BLM highlighted. The information forum is being held as part of the solar application evaluation process and information gathered during the public input period will inform BLM’s determination on whether to continue to process or to deny the Townsite Solar 2 Project right-of-way application, BLM noted.

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