Blymyer Engineers has teamed up with IP Oberon, a subsidiary of Intersect Power, to develop a 500MW solar photovoltaic (PV) electric generating station in eastern Riverside County, on land owned by the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
The Oberon solar project was approved by BLM in January 2022 as part of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan Land Use Plan (DRECP) Amendment. When completed, the Oberon facility will be a major source of renewable energy for California’s wholesale electricity grid.
A large-scale undertaking
In addition to a solar PV electricity generation station, plans are underway to construct a battery energy storage facility capable of storing up to 500MW of power for 2 hours as well as an electrical substation. The supporting infrastructure will include:
- interior access roads
- an approximately 3,000 ft. operation and maintenance (O&M) building
- a supervisory control and data acquisition system
- telecommunications facilities
- and a meteorological data collection system.
Navigating ecological challenges
Permits for the solar project have now been completed and development of the facility is now underway. Blymyer’s expert team was actively involved in the permitting process and addressing the initiative to protect the endangered desert tortoise population native to the area surrounding the construction site. Approximately 25 miles of protective fencing have been earmarked for this purpose.
A comprehensive renewable energy package
“We are excited to be partnering with IP Oberon” says Greg Mazur, Blymyer’s Director of Engineering. “This extensive design and construction project has PV and BESS aspects—all areas where we have significant expertise. “When completed it will mark a significant milestone in the effort to modernize America’s power infrastructure in the West.