BLM Announces Completion of Crimson Solar Energy Storage Project

The Bureau of Land Management has announced that construction of the Crimson Energy Storage Project, a 350-megawatt battery storage system in eastern Riverside County, California, is now complete, and the system is in operation and expanding grid capacity. The battery storage project will provide 1400 megawatt-hours of electricity at full capacity and is a significant milestone in the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to modernize America’s power infrastructure in the West and achieve a goal of 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2035.
BLM Announces Completion of Crimson Solar Energy Storage Project
Courtesy of Recurrent Energy

A fund managed by Axium Infrastructure US Inc. owns 80% of the project and Recurrent Energy, the project developer, retains 20% ownership. CSI Energy Storage was the turnkey system integrator of the project, delivering the engineering, procurement and construction (“EPC”) services and will provide long-term operational services for the project.

“The BLM is proud to support responsible development of renewable energy projects as part of our mission to sustainably manage public lands,” said BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning. “The Crimson Solar project is one of the largest standalone battery energy storage projects on BLM-managed lands and showcases the agency’s commitment to meeting the Nation’s energy and economic needs with 21st Century technology.”

The Crimson Energy Storage Project created 140 union jobs during peak construction. The storage project is part of the larger Crimson Solar Project to be constructed at a future date. The entire project includes approximately 2,000 acres of BLM-managed land, located 13 miles west of Blythe in Riverside County.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said, “The Crimson Energy Storage project epitomizes California leadership – clean energy, innovation, and economic development through good, union jobs. We’ve been laser focused on quickly bringing projects like this online to achieve our goal of a 100% clean energy grid. Congratulations to the people across the public and private sectors who are responsible for bringing this major project online to the benefit of all Californians.”

Crimson Storage is the largest battery storage project in the world to reach operation in a single phase, and it is the second largest energy storage project currently operating. The project holds two long-term energy storage contracts with California’s largest utilities, Southern California Edison (“SCE”) and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (“PG&E”). Both contracts are part of reliability procurements directed by the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”).

  • Southern California Edison: 200 MW / 800 MWh 14 year and 10-month contract with Southern California Edison under a full tolling agreement, and
  • Pacific Gas and Electric Company: 150 MW / 600 MWh 15-year contract with Pacific Gas and Electric Company for Resource Adequacy only; Recurrent Energy and Axium will operate the battery system in the California wholesale power market

The Crimson Energy Storage Project is in an area analyzed and identified as suitable for renewable energy development as part of BLM’s Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan Land Use Plan Amendment.

The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan is a landscape-level plan focused on 10.8 million acres of public lands in the desert regions of seven California counties that streamlines renewable energy development while conserving unique and valuable desert ecosystems and providing outdoor recreation opportunities. To approve these sites for renewable energy projects, the Department of the Interior and the BLM work with Tribal governments, local communities, state regulators, industry, and other federal agencies.

Within the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan planning area, there are 19 renewable energy projects at different stages of review with the potential to add approximately 7,000 megawatts of production on BLM California public land.

In 2021, the BLM approved the Crimson Solar Project, which authorized Sonoran West Solar Holdings, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Recurrent Energy, LLC, to construct a 350-megawatt solar photovoltaic facility and 350-megawatt battery storage system with support facilities to generate and deliver power through the Southern California Edison Colorado River Substation.

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