Solar Panels - Photo courtesy of Jeroen Van De Water on Unsplash

The Blythe Solar Power Project, a large photovoltaic facility designed to produce enough energy to power 145,500 homes, is now fully operational, federal officials announced Wednesday.

“Bringing another solar project to full operation on our public lands will accelerate our nation’s transition to a clean energy economy by unlocking renewable resources, creating jobs, lowering costs, and boosting local economies,” U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement.

Haaland called the project another step in the Biden administration’s goal of achieving 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035.

The four-unit, 485-megawatt photovoltaic facility and 387-megawatt battery storage system is part of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, an effort by the Bureau of Land Management to develop renewable-energy projects on public desert lands in seven California counties. Construction on the project began in 2015, with the bulk of the work on the solar array completed in late 2020. With subsequent approval of the battery-storage system, the project is now fully operational, officials said.

“The Blythe Solar Power Project is another example of how BLM-managed public lands are powering our clean energy future, including through added battery energy storage systems to these important projects,” Tracy Stone-Manning, director of the Bureau of Land Management, said in a statement.

BLM is in the process of reviewing 64 other clean-energy projects on public lands. The agency recently approved the Oberona, Arica and Victory Pass solar projects near Desert Center.

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