Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez congratulated Oregon for its leadership in sustainable transportation as Portland General Electric and the Oregon Department of Transportation broke ground today on the nation’s largest solar highway project.The $10 million project, at the Baldock Safety Rest Area on Interstate 5 northbound near Wilsonville, will include an interpretive display where the public can view the 1.75-megawatt solar array and learn about solar power and Oregon’s solar highway installations. The project will generate up to 1.97 million kilowatthours per year of renewable energy — equivalent to nearly 9 percent of ODOT’s need in PGE’s service area.
“Between this project – the largest of its kind in the nation — and the solar interchange a few miles north of here, it’s clear the road to the future starts here in Oregon,” Mendez said. “Well done, Oregon, for leading the way in building the solar highway.”
The Baldock Solar Highway — an all-Oregon project — is being built on seven acres of ODOT-owned property behind the rest area. PGE will build and operate the project, which is expected to go online in January
2012. “With this project, we’re helping Oregonians understand how solar power benefits us all,” said Matt
Garrett, ODOT director. “But we’re accomplishing more than just installing a solar array: we’re supporting
local businesses, local workers and the state economy.” PGE has contracted with Advanced Energy Systems of Eugene, Oregon to install 6,994 panels produced by SolarWorld of Hillsboro, with inverters provided by
Advanced Energy (PV Powered) of Bend. All other consulting, construction, analysis and other materials also will be provided by Oregon companies. (Advanced Energy Systems designed and will install the system)
“These companies are helping diversify Oregon’s economy and build our state’s reputation as a solar
manufacturing hub,” said Jim Piro, PGE president and CEO.
Bank of America is providing financing for the project. The project also is supported by funds from the Energy Trust of Oregon, PGE’s Clean Wind program and the state’s Business Energy Tax Credit program.
|A host of partner companies worked on getting the project off the ground.|
|Thomas Brex, Chief designer of AES, autographs the SolarWorld module.|
|Thomas Brex of AES shows the SolarWorld 250W panel, and Haticon Racking that will be installed in the 6 acres shown in the background.|