If you are traveling to Oregon in the future, take a step back to visit the nation’s largest 1.75-megawatt (MW) solar highway project at Baldock Solar Station near Wilsonville, Oregon.
The outstanding results have been a result of a partnership between Portland General Electric and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) who have used 6,994 solar panels across seven acres neighboured by corn and cabbage crops. The site on Interstate 5 northbound near Wilsonville is open to visitors where they can learn about the advantages of solar power installations and sustainable solar-powered community garden designed by Oregon State University Master Gardeners.
The plant which cost $10 million to built is operated by Portland General Electric (PGE) on land owned by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). It went online in January to produce 1.97 million kilowatt-hours of energy each year enough to suffice 11% of the electricity required by the Department of Transportation’s local offices.
Baldock Solar Station has all the technology and materials sourced from Oregon based companies including consulting, construction, analysis and other materials. The solar arrays were made by SolarWorld of Hillsboro while the inverters provided by by Advanced Energy of Bend.
With this project, PGE will help the state meet its target of sourcing 25% of power from renewable energy projects by 2025. Bank of America has financed the project with support from Energy Trust of Oregon, PGE’s Clean Wind program and the state’s Business Energy Tax Credit program.