Oregon pushes renewables further with highway-side solar plant

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @ 10:02 AM
posted by rene5432

The Pacific Northwest already relies on renewable electricity to a greater extent than anywhere else in the country, but the state of Oregon is looking to increase this already strong track record. Solar Novus Today reports that the Oregon Department of Transportation has completed its new solar power installation off the side of the Interstates 5 and 205.

The project, known as the Baldock Solar Highway, takes advantage of the ODOT's right-of-way around the highway and the wide open space in the area to develop some substantial solar resources.

The ODOT also faces high electricity bills because of the energy used for transportation around the state, making it the perfect agency to develop green energy resources.

The new plant covers around 7 acres and features nearly 7,000 solar panels, reaching a combined capacity of around 1.75 megawatts.

ODOT announced the beginning of construction on the solar power plant in August of last year, and it was finally turned on this January. Though the project cost around $10 million, it is projected to provide around 9 percent of the agency's annual energy needs.

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