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US clean energy company Intersect Power has begun commercial operations at its 679MW Oberon solar plus storage project in Riverside County in the US state of California.

The Oberon solar project has a co-located 250MW/1 gigawatt-hour (GWh) energy storage system and can generate enough clean energy to supply 207,000 US households annually.

Its solar element features solar photovoltaic modules from Ohio-based First Solar.

It also features Nextracker’s NX Horizon smart solar trackers, US-made structural steel and a 1GWh battery system supplied by Tesla’s battery facility in Lathrop.

A total of 930 temporary construction jobs were created during its construction phase.

The project is built on 2,600 acres of BLM-managed public land.

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By GlobalData

Its site is particularly suited to clean energy development, as part of BLM’s Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan.

Intersect Power CEO Sheldon Kimber stated: “The Oberon project is much more than a new source of clean power for California. It is also a case study in how the clean energy industry can maximise project benefits by prioritising domestic supply chains and union labour to ensure the rewards of the clean energy transition are felt by all Americans.

“This project demonstrates that Intersect continues to pioneer procurement standards for our industry that live up to the vision of the IRA and deliver transformative clean energy projects that move the needle on the deep decarbonisation of our economy.”  

In September 2022, the company secured a total of $3.1bn in credit financing, which included $2.4bn and $675m, to support the construction of four solar plus storage projects in the US.

The projects aggregate 1.5GW of solar power and a 1GWh battery energy storage system. They include the Oberon I and II and Lumina I and II projects.

Portfolio term debt was provided by HPS Investment Partners and other co-investors, and tax equity by Morgan Stanley Renewables and US Bancorp Impact Finance.

Construction debt was offered by Bank of America, CoBank, KeyBanc Capital Markets, Helaba, MUFG Nord LB, Santander Corporate & Investment Banking, SuMi TRUST and Zions Capital Markets.

BLM California state director Karen Mouritsen stated: “The completion of the Oberon solar project underscores the Bureau of Land Management’s commitment to responsible energy development in pursuit of a carbon-free power sector.

“This project is another example of the bureau’s steadfast commitment to the furtherance of renewable energy and prioritising a healthier planet.”