NextEra’s brings online 485MW solar-plus-storage plant in California


The Bureau of Land Management is processing 64 utility-scale onshore renewable projects on public lands in the western US. Image: NextEra Energy.

NextEra’s Energy’s 485MW solar PV co-located plant has reached full commercial operation in Riverside County, California, according to the US Department of the Interior (DOI).

The “Blythe Solar Power Project”, located on public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), includes a 387MW battery energy storage system (BESS).

The solar plant was completed in four stages, starting with the first 110MW in January 2015. The following three phases each added 125MW of solar capacity and the BESS received approval in 2020.

This is the latest solar-plus-storage project to start operations on public land in California, with EDF’s 475MW solar-plus-storage reaching full power operation in August, while the BLM issued approval for the 500MW solar-plus-storage Oberon project that is expected to be operational in 2023.

The project was permitted under the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) – which identifies areas in the southeastern California desert-land that are suitable for utility-scale renewables projects – that covers an area of 10.8 million acres of public lands.

“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,” said Tracy Stone-Manning, director of the BLM.

Currently the BLM is processing 64 utility-scale solar, wind and geothermal projects on public lands in the western US with a combined potential capacity of more than 41GW.

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