Oregon's largest solar array complete

The Outback solar power plant is up and running in Lake County. Portland General Electric will purchase the electricity through a 25-year power purchase agreement.
Courtesy Constellation Energy

The Outback solar power plant is up and running in Lake County. Portland General Electric will purchase the electricity through a 25-year power purchase agreement. 

The 5.7 megawatt solar array, known as Outback, that last year started sprouting up along the landscape in southeast Oregon's Lake County is finished and is generating power.

The solar power plant is made up of 20,000 ground-mounted photovoltaic panels and is expected to generate approximately 10 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.

The project was developed by Obsidian Finance Group and Smart Energy Capital and helped along by $15 million in incentives from the state's Business Energy Tax Credit program and the Energy Trust of Oregon.

Constellation Energy, a subsidiary of Chicago-based Exelon Corp., financed and owns the array, having acquired it last October. Portland General Electric will purchase the power generated by the plant through a 25-year power purchase agreement.

"Portland General Electric is working hard to diversify its portfolio of renewable generating resources while maintaining a reliable supply of power for its customers,” said Jim Lobdell, PGE’s vice president for power operations and resource strategy, in a press release. “The project marks a significant addition to that effort, and will help us serve homes and businesses in our service area for years to come.”

Belectric Inc. of Newark, Calif., a specialist in ground-mounted solar arrays, worked on the project and will provide ongoing operations and maintenance services. The project employed 75 people during construction.

Oregon's Lake County is home to the state's two largest solar arrays Outback and the Black Cap array completed last November.

While the array is Oregon's largest, it's dwarfed by the planned 579-megawatt Antelope Valley solar utility in California that was recently purchased by MidAmerican Renewables, a transaction that had roots in SunPower Corp's Portland office.

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