News updates from Solar Oregon
Portland General Electric and the Oregon Department Transportation broke ground on a $10 million solar array at the Baldock Rest Area on Interstate 5 south of Wilsonville. The project comprises almost 7,000 panels spread over seven acres of land owned by ODOT behind the rest area. It will generate up to 1.97 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year -- about 9 percent of the electricity consumed by the agency in the utility's service territory. PGE hopes to flip the switch in January.
The City of Portland, Energy Trust of Oregon, Solar Oregon and Oregon Department of Energy are partnering to create a statewide campaign to deliver the Solar Now! education and outreach model to other communities around the State of Oregon. The objective is to encourage local municipalities and community leaders throughout the state to learn from and join the Solar Now! network.
After looking into alternative energy about three years ago, Farmer Don Christensen decided to diversify his crop and get into solar. By mid-October, his nine acres, and almost 12 nearby, will be hosting the largest ground-mounted solar arrays developed in Oregon to date. The two sites, located west of Amity, will create a combined 2.85 megawatts. That's enough to supply a city of 2,300, which is half again Amity's size.
SoloPower Inc., which makes thin-film solar cells, won final approval on Friday for a $197 million federal loan guarantee to expand its San Jose headquarters and open two manufacturing facilities in Portland, Ore. Together, the two new facilities in Portland and the expanded one in San Jose will provide 450 permanent jobs, as well as 270 construction jobs, and produce enough solar modules each year to generate 400 megawatts of electricity. A megawatt is a snapshot figure, roughly equal to the amount of electricity used by 750 homes at any given instant.