SAN DIEGO, USA: enXco, an EDF Energies Nouvelles Company (PARIS: EEN) and Portland General Electric have entered into two power purchase agreements for solar photovoltaic installations to be located in the Willamette Valley near Salem, Oregon.
The two installations will combine for a total of 2.84 MW (dc) of generating capacity providing power for approximately 2,300 homes at peak production.
“These agreements with enXco are part of our strategy to help meet Oregon’s renewable energy goals,” said Jim Lobdell, vice president for power operations and resource strategy at PGE. “Together with PGE’s other ground-based and rooftop arrays as well as strong support for residential and commercial customer-owned projects, these installations will help us grow solar in our state.”
enXco will develop, build, and own the solar projects consisting of thin film technology, while PGE will purchase the power generated under a 25-year power purchase agreement. The projects are expected to commence construction in early 2011 and reach commercial operation in July 2011. enXco Service Corporation will operate and maintain the projects.
“These projects represent the largest ground-mounted solar PV installations in the Pacific Northwest as well as the first solar development for enXco in the region. We are pleased to be working with PGE and Energy Trust of Oregon to bring them to fruition,” Troy Gagliano, project developer with enXco said.
“The local farmers have always harvested the sun to grow crops, and now they are able to benefit from the sun in another way. Solar energy diversifies their operations helping these farmers to not only survive, but thrive.”
Both sites are located in the south eastern portion of Yamhill County. The Bellevue Solar Project site will comprise 1.69 MW of capacity and the Yamhill Solar Project site will produce 1.15 MW. The projects will connect to the existing PGE utility system, which provides power for 822,000 customers in 52 Oregon cities within a 4,000 square mile service territory.
“Our investment in these solar projects is an investment in a cleaner energy future for Oregon,” said Betsy Kauffman, senior program manager for Energy Trust of Oregon. “These projects are visible proof that Oregon is a great place for solar.”
With these new projects, PGE will have more than 17 megawatts of solar capacity in its resource mix, helping the utility meet the state’s renewable energy standard of providing 25 percent renewable energy by the year 2025.
This will also help achieve the state’s solar photovoltaic generating capacity standard, which calls for investor-owned utilities in Oregon to have a combined total of at least 20 megawatts of large-scale solar projects online by 2020. PGE expects approximately 9 percent of its resource mix will come from renewable energy sources in 2010.
“Our customers are best served with a diverse mix of resources,” Lobdell said. “That’s why we’re bringing new renewable generating facilities online, while at the same time promoting energy efficiency and making improvements to our existing hydropower and thermal plants. Our goal is always to deliver safe, reliable, responsibly-generated electric power to our customers at a reasonable price.”
The two projects received approval from the Yamhill County Planning Commission in September 2010.