Lakeview to get another large solar installation
The system should produce about 1,900,000 kilowatt hours per year – the equivalent of eliminating over 1,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
I am proud to report that Obsidian Renewables will be adding another large solar PV project to its Oregon portfolio this fall. We will be building a 500 kw project in Lakeview, Oregon, next to our existing 363 kw project and PacifiCorp’s 2.5 megawatt Black Cap project that we developed last year. The project is called Lakeview 500 (no, it’s not a NASCAR race).
Lakeview 500 will be the 23rd project Obsidian has developed or financed in Oregon, and it will be the fourth large project Obsidian has developed in Lake County. The project will be built under Oregon’s feed-in tariff pilot program where we were the winning bid. Under the program, project owners and developers are allowed to bid for a power purchase agreement (PPA) price to Pacific Power and PGE for projects up to 500 kw in size. We won the 363 kw project last year and we won the 500 kw project this year. To give you an idea how much solar prices have come down, we won the bid for the 363 kw project at just under 17 cents per kilowatt hour last year and just under 11 cents per kilowatt hour for the Lakeview 500 project this year. The drop in price is a result of cheaper equipment – modules, inverters and racking – but more importantly, cheaper balance of system costs due to more experience in building such systems. Most of the local contractors who worked on the Black Cap project in Lakeview and the 5.7 megawatt Outback project that we co-developed in north Lake County last year were working on their first solar projects. Many efficiencies have been gained through that experience that will be employed at Lakeview 500.
Lakeview 500 will be a pretty cool project. It will consist of about 1,700 modules, AE inverters (the old PV Powered guys out of Bend) and single-axis tracking that will follow the sun. The system should produce about 1,900,000 kilowatt hours per year – the equivalent of eliminating over 1,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. We have also agreed to provide the energy data through an internet feed to the local schools and to the new Innovation and Learning Center that will be opening in Lakeview this fall. In partnership with the local community and Lake County Resource Initiative, we have agreed to give local students and researchers from around the region access to the data from our sites in Lake County. We think the information will be valuable in the study of how solar energy works and it will give students some real hands-on experience by having a project in their own back yard. Lake County is striving to be the first carbon neutral county in Oregon and they are well on their way with over 10 megawatts of solar and several megawatts of geothermal on the ground.
Lakeview 500 will be finished around October 1st. If you are in the area, you should swing by and take a look!