Portland– Oregon is installing the nation's first solar demonstration project in a highway right of way. The project is the result of collaboration with Portland General Electric, US Bank and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
The project is located at the Interstate 5 and Interstate 205 interchange in Tualatin. Gov. Ted Kulongoski, PGE President and CEO Peggy Fowler, and Oregon Transportation Commission Chair Gail Achterman broke ground on the project recently, placing the first of 594 solar panels that will help to power lighting for the interchange.
The solar highway demonstration project is an “all Oregon” effort – Oregon companies will supply materials, design and install this collaborative project. SolarWorld AG of Hillsboro will supply the solar panels, and PV Powered Inc. of Bend will supply the inverter.
The 104-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system – covering about 8,000 square feet and roughly the length of two football fields – will produce about 112,000 kilowatt hours a year, or 28 percent of the 400,000 kilowatt hours used to light the interchange. The $1.3-million project is expected to be completed and online in December 2008.
Electricity for the highway interchange is provided by PGE, and the added solar power will be handled through a net metering arrangement. The solar panels will produce electricity during the day, supplying power onto the PGE grid, and PGE will return an equivalent amount of power at night to light the interchange.
The project will be designed, constructed and installed by SolarWay, a “turn-key” solar energy engineering, procurement and construction consortium consisting of four Oregon firms: Aadland Evans Constructors Inc. of Portland as the general contractor; Moyano Leadership Group Inc. of Salem as the project manager and design leader; Advanced Energy Systems of Eugene as the solar power specialty designer and installer; and Good Company of Eugene as the community and sustainability specialist.
To access more information about the project, go to www.oregonsolarhighway.com.