Intersect Power, a US-based renewables firm, has announced the commencement of commercial operations at its Oberon solar and storage project in California. Boasting a power capacity of 679MWp, the facility includes a co-located 250MW/1GWh battery storage facility.
The project, approved by the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in July 2022, saw substantial construction efforts led by Intersect Power's subsidiary, Oberon Solar, in collaboration with various US companies. Notably, the project strategically leveraged components produced domestically to benefit from tax incentives offered to new clean power ventures utilizing US-made equipment.
Key contributors to the Oberon project include modules manufactured in Ohio by First Solar, NX Horizon trackers developed by Nextracker, and batteries produced at a Tesla factory in California. Intersect Power's CEO, Sheldon Kimber, emphasized the project's significance beyond clean power generation, citing it as a model for the clean energy industry's ability to maximize benefits through prioritizing domestic supply chains and union labor, ensuring a broad impact of the clean energy transition.
The Oberon project holds additional distinction as the first to achieve commercial operation under the BLM's Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. Initiated in California in 2016, the program designates certain lands as protected due to ecosystems or Native American ownership, while encouraging the development of new renewable projects on other available land.
This successful completion under the BLM program serves as a notable proof of concept for California's influential solar sector. The state has recently witnessed the commissioning of various battery storage projects, including the notable 3MW/12MWh project by B2U Storage Solutions and Aypa Power's securing of financing for a 100MW/400MWh project.
Intersect Power's Oberon project represents a substantial addition to California's renewable energy landscape, contributing significantly to the state's ambitious clean energy goals.