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On Monday, the Biden administration announced that it had approved a $550 million solar energy project—named the Crimson Solar Project— with the capacity to power almost 90,000 homes. This project will be built on 2,000 acres of federally owned desert land west of Blythe, California.
Why this Matters: President Biden has looked to the Obama administration’s work to accelerate wind and solar power development on public lands as its own blueprint. Shortly after being sworn into office, Biden signed an executive order which called on the Interior Department to review its permitting process for renewable projects on federal lands and waters with the aim of increasing wind and solar development.
The COVID-19 relief bill which was signed into law in December also requires renewable energy production on federal lands to quintuple by 2025. As S&P Global explained, reaching that target would mean more than tripling the slightly more than 8 GW of total renewable generating capacity approved since 1978 by the Bureau of Land Management–an early challenge for the administration to meet.
Leading the Clean Energy Economy: The Crimson Solar project is being developed by Canadian Solar unit Recurrent Energy, and, once built, will funnel its power to Southern California Edison. The project will create 650 construction jobs, 10 permanent positions, and 40 temporary jobs in operations and maintenance for the 30-year life of the project.
The project will fulfill the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, which was an agreement developed during the Obama administration. As the Desert Sun reported, the Crimson Solar Project is located within an area designated for development within the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. Finalized in 2016, the framework designated nearly 11 million acres of federal land for conservation and recreation across the Southern California desert.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland summarized the importance of the project: “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.”
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer In the United States, there’s a growing need to scale up high-speed broadband and clean energy infrastructure. A new housing initiative in New York City will take on both with a single project: setting buildings up for solar power, then using the energy cost savings to bring high-speed internet […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer This week, Poland announced it will close the coal-fired Belchatow power plant by the end of 2036. The country’s national energy group opted not to develop an open-pit coal mine to power the plant after deciding it would not make financial sense. The decision comes as Poland’s Lodz region […]
Thousands of protesters gathered near the headwaters of the Mississippi River from around the country, including actresses Jane Fonda and Patricia Arquette, in an attempt to disrupt the construction of a major pipeline through northern Minnesota, the Duluth Tribune reported.
Why This Matters: The Line 3 pipeline, at a cost of $4B, will carry hundreds of thousands of barrels of dirty Canadian tar-sands oil through the U.S. across at least 200 bodies of water and sensitive watersheds.
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