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Construction Underway on Northwest’s Largest Solar Photovoltaic Plant

Smart Energy Capital, Obsidian Finance and BELECTRIC have reported that 50% of construction has been completed at the 5.7 MW ‘Outback Solar’ photovoltaic project, which is marked as the largest solar power facility in the Northwest.

Construction Underway on Outback Solar, Northwest’s Largest Solar Photovoltaic Plant and the first to utilize the Bonneville Power Administration’s transmission system.

Outback Solar, situated near Christmas Valley, Oregon, is the first project to use the transmission system from the Bonneville Power Administration. The Energy Trust of Oregon offered a $5 million incentive to the project, which was also granted tax credits from the Oregon Department of Energy.

The single-axis tracking ground mount solar array system will use roughly 20,000 polycrystalline modules and is anticipated to generate nearly 10 million kWh of zero-emission electricity per year when full production starts in October 2012. Portland General Electric will procure all of the electricity produced by the system through a 25-year power purchase contract.

Smart Energy Capital organized funding and secured the power purchase contract, incentive agreements, transmission rights, and the engineering and construction agreement. Obsidian Finance commenced work on the photovoltaic project nearly four years ago, securing key approvals and the state tax credit in addition to starting work with Bonneville and the local electric utility. BELECTRIC, the EPC contractor, is constructing the system as a self-financed ready-to-use power facility equipped with automated remote control operational functionalities.

According to Smart Energy Capital’s Managing Partner, Mike Grenier stated that Oregon's network of solar supporters has made this project a success. Obsidian Finance’s Senior Principal, David Brown commented that the company is happy to team up with Smart Energy Capital to complete the PV project.

BELECTRIC’s President and Chief operating Officer, David Taggart stated that the company is teamed up with local sub-contractors to conclude the project within three months.

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G.P. Thomas

Written by

G.P. Thomas

Gary graduated from the University of Manchester with a first-class honours degree in Geochemistry and a Masters in Earth Sciences. After working in the Australian mining industry, Gary decided to hang up his geology boots and turn his hand to writing. When he isn't developing topical and informative content, Gary can usually be found playing his beloved guitar, or watching Aston Villa FC snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.


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