The decision authorizes Sonoran West Solar Holdings LLC to build the $550 million plant on about 2,000 acres (809.3 hectares) of BLM-administered lands about 13 miles (20.9 kilometers) west of the Riverside County community of Blythe.
The deserts of southeastern California offer sun, wind and geothermal resources, but consideration of renewable energy projects also must take into account plant and animal species, tribal heritage and recreational interests.
The Interior Department said the Crimson Solar Project was proposed before the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan was created to determine which areas should be conserved and which should not, but the site is within an area designated for development.
The project will create about 650 temporary construction jobs, 10 permanent jobs and 40 temporary jobs in operations and maintenance over 30 years, the department said.
Power will be delivered to the grid through Southern California Edison’s Colorado River substation.
Sonoran West is a wholly owned subsidiary of Recurrent Energy LLC.