BLM takes next steps on proposed Crimson Solar Project
MORENO VALLEY, Calif. – In support of the Biden administration’s goal to address climate change and promote renewable energy production, the Bureau of Land Management took the next step today toward issuing a decision for a proposed solar project on public lands near Blythe in Riverside County. The BLM has released the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) and amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area Land Use Plan for the Crimson Solar Project.
“Solar energy has the potential to help our nation combat climate change, improve resilience through reliable power, and spur economic development to create good-paying jobs,” said BLM California State Director Karen Mouritsen. “We will continue to support responsible development of clean energy projects as part of our mission to sustainably manage public lands in California for a variety of uses.”
If approved, the Crimson Solar Project is expected to generate enough clean electricity to power 87,500 homes. A 350-megawatt Crimson photovoltaic solar energy generation facility would be constructed, operated and eventually decommissioned by Sonoran West Solar Holdings, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Recurrent Energy, LLC. As currently proposed, the project represents an investment of $550 million and would be located on up to 2,500 acres of public land near the Colorado River Substation. The project would support up to 650 temporary construction jobs, 10 permanent jobs and 40 temporary jobs in operations and maintenance over the 30-year life of the project.
Publication of these documents initiates a 30-day protest period and a 60-day Governor’s consistency review. The BLM will then work to resolve any protests and issue a record of decision. Information about the project, along with the BLM’s preferred alternative and instructions for filing a protest, is available online at https://go.usa.gov/xACdN.
President Biden issued an Executive Order on January 27, 2021, that called for the Interior Department to identify steps to accelerate responsible development of renewable energy on public lands and waters. Interior has initiated a review of processes and procedures to date as it re-invests in a rigorous renewable energy program.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $111 billion in economic output across the country in fiscal year 2019—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 498,000 jobs.