Already possessing the largest operational solar plant in Oregon, Bly’s renewable energy programs are further expanding with construction of a new facility estimated to produce 8.5 megawatts of power annually.

Called the Bly Solar Center, scheduled construction should be completed before the end of 2016 for the solar plant to coincide with a solar facility opened earlier this year that generates 6.8 megawatts annually through 21,964 sun-tracking solar panels on a 40-acre former Weyerhauser industrial site.

The new solar plant to be built is a Pacific Power project, one of seven acquired by Pacific Power across the west including additional solar facilities in Bend and Madras. The move is an effort by Pacific Power to meet Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) of Oregon, Washington and California, with plans for construction of four new solar plants and acquisition of three others that became operational last year.

The seven projects will provide an aggregate capacity of 168.5 megawatts, enough energy to power over 25,000 average homes. Pacific Power will be acquiring the renewable attributes of these projects called “Renewable Energy Certificates” or RECs. Each REC represents a megawatt hour of renewable energy. RECs are “retired” with an independent agency to show compliance with the RPS. The agreements involve the purchase of future-generated RECs from all six solar projects and previously generated RECs from the wind project.

“These agreements extend our investment in renewable energy on our customers’ behalf,” said Rick Link, director of origination at Pacific Power. “As the result of our recent request for proposals for renewable resources, we have found these acquisitions to be cost-effective steps we can take to provide customers the cleaner energy they want. In the case of Oregon and the recently passed Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Act, which increases the Oregon RPS to 50 percent by 2040, these contracts combined with our existing renewable resource portfolio will keep the company in compliance through 2028.”

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Solar energy has proven to be a highly useful energy alternative since the past decade. Increasing the number of solar energy storage facilities would just go to mean that more individuals and businesses alike would get to benefit from the industry. In time, this energy source will gain popularity for all the benefits it provides as it gains exposure over time.

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