(Reuters) – The Biden administration on Monday said it has approved a major solar energy project in the California desert that will be capable of powering nearly 90,000 homes.
The $550 million Crimson Solar Project will be sited on 2,000 acres of federal land west of Blythe, California, the Interior Department said in a statement. It is being developed by Canadian Solar unit Recurrent Energy and will deliver power to California utility Southern California Edison.
The announcement comes as President Joe Biden has vowed to expand development of renewable energy projects on public lands as part of a broader agenda to fight climate change, create jobs and reverse former President Donald Trump’s emphasis on maximizing fossil fuel extraction.
“Projects like this can help to make America a global leader in the clean energy economy through the acceleration of responsible renewable energy development on public lands,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in the statement.
Crimson Solar will create 650 construction jobs but just 10 permanent and 40 temporary jobs in operations and maintenance for the 30-year life of the project, the statement said.
The project will include a battery storage system and will be sited on land designated for renewable energy development by the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, an agreement hatched between the state of California and the Obama administration that set aside areas for wind and solar projects.
(Reporting by Nichola Groom; editing by David Evans)