Ocean Blue News
Author by Karisa Boyce
Solar Farms East of Bend are today Completed at the cost of $20 Million dollar Investment. This is one of two 100 acres of solar farms of Bend, Oregon. Two adjacent solar farms east of Bend are expected to be completed by the end of the year and will serve up to 6,000 total homes in Central Oregon.The total investment for each project is $20 million including labor, construction and equipment.
The state-of-the-art solar plants feature photo voltaic solar installations that are designed to utilize sunlight by converting it into electricity. The solar panels rotate up to 60 degrees east and west to follow the path of the sun for maximum solar absorption from the morning to late evening.
Developers say the site location is ideal because the farms will be able to interconnect directly into the nearby substation along Highway 20. The 10 megawatts each project will produce can easily be distributed to Pacific Powers’ electric grid to local customers. Since the farms are interconnected into the existing power grid and the renewable energy is fed directly into the transmission the projects will maximize efficiency and decrease energy loss.
The Oregon Solar Land Holdings, LLC land is owned by Tom Collier of Bend and stretches south from Neff Road to U.S. Highway 20 near Erickson Road. The project is owned by Pinegate Renewables. The other farm is on the northern side of Neff Road with land owned by Harland Hafter and the project owned by Cypress Creek Renewables. Each of the two farms are approximately 70 acres.
The project is creating immediate jobs for local contractors and will offer long term employment opportunities once completed.
Amy Berg-Pickett, NW zoning manager for Cypress Creek Renewables in Bend is overseeing the project to completion and is involved with permitting, community outreach, landscaping and revegetation.
“Each solar farm during construction will pay about $2 million each for locally sourced labor. The projects are utilizing local businesses for supplies, dining, fuel, printing, catering and rental equipment. Both projects combined have employed about 200 local people from the area and the state,” Berg-Pickett said.
The two solar farms will create long-term tax benefits, local construction jobs and potentially two long-term jobs for operations and maintenance.
“I like being part of a project that will have long term positive impacts,” Berg-Pickett said.
The project currently employees approximately 75 local electricians and laborers daily. Only licensed electricians are qualified to install solar panels so the project is putting many local electricians to work. A deliberate effort has been made throughout the project to hire Central Oregon contractors first.
Collier has owned his land since 1990 and has been approached by many businesses with plans and suggestions for how to use the property. In 2014 alone Collier was approached by nine different businesses about the prospect of building a solar farm on the land. Collier picked Troy Snyder and Oregon Solar Land Holdings, LLC after considering many other offers.
“I picked Oregon Solar Land Holdings to do business with because every time I asked Troy a question he came back with an answer. I decided to use the land for a solar farm because it allowed me to be a good steward of the land,” Collier said.
Collier has a 20 year lease with three five year extension options for a projected project life of 35 years. He estimates that once the solar farms are up and running each will generate $70,000 per year in property taxes for the county. Solar farms typically have a 30-40 year lifespan.
The energy from the solar farms will stay local to power Central Oregon. There is a purchase agreement in place with Pacific Power. Paul Smith, site supervisor for the project, was very excited when FLS called and offered him a position. This article was originally published by Cascade Busnews, BY DAVID CLEWETT CBN FEATURE WRITER of Cascade Busnews.
Ocean Blue met with Eric Prizzia who overseas the operation and maintenance of this solar farm. Ocean Blue will be requesting partnerships with this Solar Company in hope to add education of the importance to lower coal and nuclear power plants that harm the environment. We would also like to plant trees and build a solar mobile trailer to use during outreach and education events and possible out door concerts on the beach!
Solar farms are large-scale projects intended to provide power for the electrical grid, which has historically relied almost entirely on coal, nuclear, hydro and natural gas.Solar farms provide far more energy than solar panels on homes, which also feed power to the grid.
Are Rooftop Solar Arrays Better Than Solar Farms?Whether installed on a home or at a solar farm, photovoltaic panels produce sustainable, renewable energy that decreases the owner’s carbon footprint and saves money. With the basic benefits established, the only question that remains is which type of installation makes the most sense for individual consumers. To sort it out, we’ve compared a number of factors that are worth considering.
solar panels are becoming more popular — with some even included in the design of newer homes — most people prefer the look of a home without panels installed on the roof, however some feel they look amazing and green. Those who install their solar panels on a solar farm keep their home’s overall aesthetic doesn't truly look that bad. Benefits of going solar, and they don't have to look at the solar panels on roofs.
A solar farm investment if you’re worried about how a rooftop array will affect the look of your home but some do not like a solar farm view out their windows, however digging up coal is must more an eye soar in my mind and not good for the environment or rivers flowing to the Ocean.
Land ManagementWhile solar farms do a lot of good, they can take up a substantial portion of land — usable land that could be kept open for things like agriculture or building development. Rooftop solar arrays, on the other hand, don’t take up any land. Instead, they sit neatly on top of a home, using space that’s already largely unusable.
Going solar is must more safe over building dams, or nuclear radiation that has been treating our World's Ocean.
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