Due for commercial operation in Summer 2022, the Cobalt Battery Energy Storage System project will provide 350 MW of battery-stored power to support this growing region, harnessing and storing solar power for Southern California utility companies.

Why does this project matter?

Increased dependence on renewable energy sources that are located within the region that they serve results in cleaner, zero-emission power generation, which helps cities and counties reach their local climate action goals and helps the State reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2045.

What is ESA doing to help?

In 2016, ESA prepared a joint Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) and integrated analysis of a California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan Amendment for the Cobalt Solar Project, which consisted of the construction, operation, decommissioning, and restoration of a project with the capacity to generate 350-megawatts of solar photovoltaic energy and store 1,400 MWh battery energy. Encompassing about 100 acres of public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management, this project is within the Riverside East Solar Energy Zone and is a part of a Development Focus Area of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. The Final EIS and proposed CDCA Plan Amendment was published in 2021.

ESA is now providing third-party compliance monitoring on behalf of BLM to ensure a successful implementation of the project’s construction phase. In this role, ESA’s team will work closely with the Recurrent Energy (developer) to document project compliance with the environmental requirements, permit conditions, and conservation measures to prevent damage and minimize impacts. For construction monitoring purposes, the critical environmental factors associated with this site include, but are not limited to, air resources, biological resources, cultural resources, erosion and sedimentation, and spill containment. Of special interest is reducing disturbance within suitable desert tortoise and desert kit fox habitat, as well as any construction-related damage or displacement of cultural resources and artifacts. Native American consultations under Assembly Bill 52 and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act will continue into the construction phase of work.

solar power station green electricity panel view

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