A 500-megawatt solar project near Desert Center was approved by the Bureau of Land Management, it was announced Thursday.

The Oberon Solar Project will be approximately 2,600 acres large on BLM-managed land and will have the capacity to generate 500 megawatts of energy and store 200 megawatts into batteries, according to BLM.

The approval of the project gives Oberon Solar, LLC the authority to construct, operate, maintain and decommission the solar facility. According to BLM, the project is expected create 750 union construction jobs and eight permanent positions.

The move is part of the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to reach 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035.

“The Oberon Solar Project is another example of how our public lands are playing a key role in contributing to the nation’s renewable energy portfolio,” said BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning.

“We’re grateful for the collaboration between Tribal governments, local communities, state regulators, industry and other federal agencies that is shaping responsible development on America’s public lands for the benefit of current and future generations.”

According to the BLM press release, the project meets the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan Land Use Plan Amendment and resides on land suitable for renewable energy.

Local newspaper The Desert Sun; however, reported that a number of environmental groups have filed formal comments opposed to the project, stating that it would destroy the area and wildlife that depends on it.

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