The Outback Solar PV project, located nine miles outside of Christmas Valley, Oregon, has surpassed the 50% completion mark for construction. The 5.7MW project, which is being developed by Smart Energy Capital, Belectric and Obsidian Finance, is set to be the largest solar power plant in the Northwest and the first to use the Bonneville Power Administrations’ transmission system.
Nearly 20,000 polycrystalline modules will help power the single-axis ground mounted solar array. It is expected to generate 10 million kWh of energy per year when it becomes fully operation in October and, through a 25-year PPA, Portland General Electric will acquire all of the output from the PV system.
Smart Energy Capital arranged the financing, transmission rights, PPA, incentive agreements and EPC contract. Belectric was called upon to serve as EPC contractor and is building the Outback plant as a self-financed turn-key power plant with a fully automated remote control operational capability. The project was brought to fruition though a US$5 million incentive from the Energy Trust of Oregon along with tax credits from the Oregon Department of Energy.
“With the need to schedule and deliver power real-time over the Bonneville system, Outback is undoubtedly one of the more sophisticated solar projects in the country. We have greatly appreciated the supportive and collaborative working relationship with Bonneville,” said Mike Grenier, managing partner at Smart Energy Capital. “This project has been successful due to the support of Oregon's network of solar advocates. We are very pleased to be joined with Smart Energy Capital to see it to conclusion,” added David Brown, senior principal of Obsidian Finance.