Oregon, home to one of SolarWorld’s production facilities, is reaping the benefits from having the company do business within its borders. SolarWorld’s solar panels can be found powering highway, rail and airport installations throughout Oregon, all of which have gained not only national, but international attention.
The 1.75MW Baldock Solar Highway Project on Interstate 5 near Wilsonville, Oregon has garnered the most attention, seeing transportation industry officials in 13 countries and 27 states looking for information on the solar park, which was built on Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) property. The solar project went online in January and will be open to the public in the spring with an interpretive display and sustainable community garden. Sitting across 7 acres, the Baldock project is operated by Portland General Electric and uses 6,994 SolarWorld solar panels.
“Oregon frequently wins recognition for the excellence of its transportation systems, the liveability of its cities and the foresight of its urban planning,” said Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld Industries America. “It is no surprise then that forward-looking transportation agencies have not only integrated solar energy into their operations but recognized the sustainable benefits of using solar panels manufactured locally within their own state.”
Portland’s TriMet public transit agency has also gone solar with the construction of a 60kW installation at the South Terminus of the MAX green and yellow light-rail lines near Portland State University. The project will be commissioned later this month and is being installed by REC Solar, holding expectations of producing over 64,000kWh of solar energy per year.
Not to be left out, the Portland International Airport hosts a 28kW ground-mounted solar system using 120 of SolarWorld’s panels. Commissioned in December, the installation helps power a treatment facility for the airport’s newly expanded de-icing stormwater collection system.