PacifiCorp anounces big Lakeview solar project

A PacifiCorp solar installation planned for Lake County will generate enough power for 400 residential customers.

A PacifiCorp solar installation planned for Lake County will generate enough power for 400 residential customers.

PacifiCorp announced Thursday it will develop a huge 2-megawatt solar array in Lake County, a move that will further cement the eastern Oregon region's reputation as the state's center for large-scale renewable energy projects.

PacifiCorp officials say the Black Cap project, which will be installed a few miles from downtown Lakeview, will be the largest utility-leased solar facility in the state. It will produce enough electricity to meet the annual needs of about 400 average PacifiCorp residential customers and will count toward the utilities obligations to produce 25 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2025 under the state's renewable portfolio standard.

Portland-based Obsidian Finance Group will develop the project and PaciCorp will own the project rights and the land under the solar panels. The utility will lease the equipment including 9,000 solar panels mounted on a motorized tracking system designed to follow the sun's path across the sky.

The project โ€” its total cost was not released โ€” is expected to be switched on by October.

"The construction employment is important to us, but the stronger significance is that Black Cap is building on our goal of making Lake County the 'New Energy Frontier' of the West,โ€ said Audrey Henry, director of the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, in a press release.

The Lakeview area has been a hot spot for development of large-scale solar and biomass projects. Geothermal resources in the region have also caught the eye of developers.

Iberdrola Renewables put construction of a Lakeview biomass plant on hold last year when it was unable to secure a power purchase agreement for the project.

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