Solar farm north of Bend to provide green energy

Tumbleweed Solar Farm set to run by year's end

Solar farm taking shape

BEND, Ore. - A new solar farm is nearing completion in Deschutes County, near Highway 97 between Bend and Redmond.

The 95-acre solar farm project site is set to generate nearly 10 megawatts of power for the area, and officials say that is enough for 1,500 homes.

The project, which began back in April of 2016, is slated to be completed by the end of December.

Saturn Power Corporation, a Canadian company, is putting in the solar farm and is working along with Pacific Power to use the project for clean energy.

Oregon is a perfect spot for a solar farm to be used effectively, Saturn Power Corporation project manager Larry Henry said Thursday.

“Central Oregon, and down into Southern and Eastern Oregon, are good sites for us," Henry said. "The radiation that we get from the sun here is very good.”

The solar farm will help to keep up with the increased demand on the grid, according to Matthew Chancellor, a regional business manger with Pacific Power.

“We continue to diversify our electric grid, and renewable energy is very important,” Chancellor said. “There is cost savings, because there is no fuel cost with renewable energies. So a greener grid, and a lower cost for our customers.”

Fuel is not needed to create solar power, so the cost to maintain the solar farm is relatively low.

"A little bit of maintenance in the solar field itself, just from weed management, dust, those types of things," Henry said. "It’s all remotely monitored, and if there is a problem that comes up, we see it on the computer, we send a crew out to address it.”

The Tumbleweed Solar Farm is set to be up and running by Dec. 31.

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