The BLM approves Arica and Victory Pass solar projects
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – 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. These renewable energy projects will result in a combined infrastructure investment of about $689 million, $5.9 million in annual operational economic benefit, and power approximately 132,000 homes.
The BLM’s approval authorizes Clearway Energy Group, LLC a right-of-way to construct, operate, maintain, and decommission two separate photovoltaic solar facilities in a reduced footprint to avoid sensitive resources. Combined, the two projects could generate up to 465 megawatts of power with up to 400 megawatts of battery storage.
“Renewable energy projects like Arica and Victory Pass on public lands create good-paying jobs and are crucial in achieving the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035,” said BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning. “Investing in clean and reliable renewable energy represents the BLM's commitment for addressing climate change and supports Congress’ direction in the Energy Act of 2020 to permit 25 gigawatts of solar, wind, and geothermal production on public lands no later than 2025.”
The BLM is committed to making significant contributions to the nation’s renewable energy portfolio, identifying portions of public lands that have excellent solar and wind energy potential and significant geothermal energy resources.
The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan is focused on 10.8 million acres of public lands in the desert regions of seven California counties and is a landscape-level plan that streamlines renewable energy development, while conserving unique and valuable desert ecosystems and providing outdoor recreation opportunities. To approve these sites for renewable energy projects, the Department of the Interior and the BLM work with Tribal governments, local communities, state regulators, industry and other federal agencies.
The decision record, finding of no new significant impacts, environmental assessment and associated documents are available on ePlanning at the Arica Solar web page at https://go.usa.gov/xGw6u and the Victory Pass Solar web page https://go.usa.gov/xGwFc. For more information, please contact Caroline Woods by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.