Energy provider NextEra Energy’s 750MW McCoy solar project in California has finally been approved, according to local press reports.

Riverside County has approved the environmental impact statement and development plans for the project, which will be located near Blythe.

A unanimous vote on 11 March revealed all the Riverside County board were satisfied with the new information NextEra provided and that previous concerns had been taken on board.

Previously, attorney for Laborers International Union Local 1184, Gideon Kracov, raised an objection to the project and asked for the council to delay its decision. 

Job creation was reported to be a major point in reconsidering the approval for the project.

NextEra has claimed that up to 600 jobs will be created during peak construction, with around 350 on average construction jobs, over a two year construction period and 20 full time jobs once operational.

The project could also pay Imperial County up to US$600,000 a year, or if built in installments, US$300,000 a year.

The project might also pay a one time impact fee generating US$1.2 million for new space and habitats.

The 750MW would cover 4,400 acres with NextEra to start work on site, as early as this Spring constructing tortoise fences and roads.

NextEra said the US Bureau of Land Management, Riverside County, California, Department of Fish & Wildlife and other state and federal agencies participated in the project permitting process.

Thin-film PV manufacturer and project developer First Solar is to construct the first 250MW phase of the project.

The initial 250MW McCoy Solar Energy Project will be located on approximately 930 hectares of mostly public land provided by the US Bureau of Land Management.

Under the agreement, First Solar will provide engineering, procurement and construction services, using its CdTe thin-film PV modules throughout the project.

The project is located near the 550MW Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, jointly owned by GE Energy Financial Services, a subsidiary of NextEra, and Sumitomo Corporation of America, which First Solar is also constructing.

Construction of the first 250MW is expected to begin in late 2014, with completion in late 2016. The project will provide up to 400 construction jobs at peak operation.