Oregon is installing the nation’s first
solar demonstration project in a highway right of way, moving the state a step further in
its role as a leader in renewable power development.
The project is the result of
collaboration with Portland General Electric (PGE), US Bank and the Oregon
Department of Transportation (ODOT), and the materials and installation will be
provided by Oregon companies.
“Before the year is over, this ground will hold the nation’s first Solar Highway project,
and Oregon will make history using the power of the sun to light this interchange,”
Governor Ted Kulongoski said. “More importantly, this project will represent a new era
for energy in Oregon. It will represent a step forward toward our vision of an energy
independent Oregon--and it will represent the endless opportunities before us to chart
this course of clean, reliable and renewable energy for our state.”
The Governor and ODOT, in partnership with PGE and US Bank, unveiled the project
that will help light the way for drivers at the Interstate 5 and Interstate 205 interchange in
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
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% 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 (EPC) 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.