It was undoubtedly a moment to cherish for the energy giant EDF Renewable when the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) finally approved the company’s 500MW Palen Solar project in California’s Riverside County after a decade-long battle. In its declaration, the US body has stated that the EDF renewable Energy now has the power to occupy upto 3,140 acres of BLM-administered lands that is about 16km east of Desert Center, north of Interstate 10, in Riverside County. The BLMalso noted that around 1,000 people will get employed through this project and nearly 130,000 homes will get electricity.
The authorisation that was granted to ‘EDF Renewable Energy’s Palen project was previously owned by German company ‘Solar Millennium’ and the original application was submitted for government approval in 2007. However, before the final approval, the company went bankrupt and ‘Brightsource Energy’ took the rights of the project in 2013 auction. But the company and its partner ‘Abengoa Solar’ abandoned the sate proceedings later this year and finally, EDF acquired the project and resubmitted for consideration. This was previously decided for a solar power tower project, while EDF opted for changing the proposed technology to solar photovoltaic (PV) and later applied for a revision of the application.
The approval includes the construction of an 11.2km single circuit 230kV generation interconnection transmission line which will deliver the clean electricity to the Southern California Edison Red Bluff Substation under a power purchase agreement (PPA). on-site substation, switchyard, site security, and a 230kV gen-tie line, all these will be included in the main generation area. The site could potentially include an operations and maintenance facility.
a 6.7-mile single circuit is needed for the 230-kilovolt generation interconnection (gen-tie) transmission line connecting the project to the Southern California Edison Red Bluff Substation. Joseph Balash, Land and Minerals Management assistant secretary, said that the US President and Secretary Zinke have called for an all-of-the-above energy strategy that will ensure America’s energy security, while also strengthening the infrastructure in support of the economy.
“The Palen Solar Project will provide benefits to the local community and the region both now and in the future, demonstrating the critical role multiple-use public lands play for the BLM’s neighbors and the nation as a whole,” Joseph stated.
Comprised of 27-panel strings, there would be 25 rows within each quadrant and the field of panels consisting of repeated blocks of 2.50 MW-AC each. The project noted 3,137,940 solar modules and 400 inverters.
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