Oregon Accelerates Push For Solar-Energy Highways

Oregon's Proposed Solar Highway

Oregon is considering plans for what would be its second majorsolar-energy project sighted along a major highway.  The so-called “solar highway”project has triggered a sharp reaction from many local residentsconcerned about the project’s destruction of local forest.  Theinstallation is currently sited for the 43-acre plot of land near WestLinn, Oregon and will include solar arrays with a total of roughly17,000 solar panels laid out across about half the acreage of theentire site, according to reports at Oregon Live.

The panels would produce 3.2 million kilowatt-hours of powereach year, enough to power about one-sixth of the energy consumer inthe region by Oregon’s Department of Transportation,which wants to use 100 percent renewable energy to supply the 47million kilowatt-hours of energy consumed by the state transportationsystem annually.  

The new solar energy site would deliver power into the PGE grid, which would then be sold to

Map of I-5/205 Interchange Region

Oregon’s DOT for the prevailing price of grid-based power.  Theother is a prototype project that began last December just north of theI-5/205 interchange.

The project uses 600 panels to power freeway lights.

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