Gallery: Baldock Solar Highway project close to completion

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  • Under the Oregon Solar Highway Program, the Oregon Department of Transportation provides land for the construction of a large solar array. It's an all-Oregon project with more than nine companies and organizations involved.

  • In all, the 1.75 megawatt array is comprised of 6,994 250-watt panels made by SolarWorld.

  • The frame system was designed in Germany and built in Portland by Sapa Group. The structure simplifies panel installations.

  • The conduit ditches hold plastic pipe-wrapped wires that run from the panels to the inverters. The inverters, built by Advanced Energy Systems in Bend, convert DC power to AC power.

  • It's muddy work. But Mark Osborn, who is overseeing the project for PGE said the installlers were lucky with dry weather for most of the process.

  • Mark Osborn, smart grid manager for Portland General Electric, inspects some of the completed arrays. He's excited about a LED perimeter lighting system, designed and built by Portland Habilitation Center, that will be installed before the project goes live.

  • The Baldock Solar Highway project was funded through a combination of public investment, private financing, utility incentives and tax credits including Oregon's Business Energy Tax Credit. PGE's Mark Osborn said arranging the financing was the toughest part of the project.

  • The completed array will generate up to 1.97 million kilowatt hours of solar power.

    File photo