The Baldock Solar Station
The Baldock Solar Station - "Made in Oregon" (photo by PGE)
Adjacent to farm fields on one side and a safety rest area on the other, the Baldock Solar Station is a 1.75dc Megawatt solar array at the Baldock Safety Rest Area, south of Wilsonville on Interstate 5 in unincorporated Clackamas County. The 6,994 panel array sits on approximately seven acres of ODOT property on the east side of the northbound rest area, producing approximately 1.97 million kilowatt-hours of clean, renewable, homegrown energy annually.
Construction began in early August 2011 and the project was placed into service – connected to the grid – on January 17, 2012. While people can drive through the safety rest area to view the solar highway project today, the project will officially open to the public in the spring of 2012 with a solar energy interpretive display for visitors, edged by a sustainable community garden.
See a video of the groundbreaking ceremony (YouTube)
"Made in Oregon"
Baldock is an all-Oregon project, showcasing what can be accomplished through creative, responsible partnering between the public and private sectors. Partners include:
Portland General Electric (PGE) procured the project using the value-added approach described at www.oregonsolarhighway.com. PGE operates and maintains the Baldock array under a lease arrangement with Bank of America, which financed and owns the project. The energy goes into the PGE grid to serve PGE customers, including the State of Oregon and ODOT.
- Portland General Electric and its financial partner for the project, Bank of America
- SolarWorld in Hillsboro (solar panels) and Advanced Energy of Bend (inverters)
- The project was designed by, and is being constructed and installed by:
- Aadland Evans Constructors Inc., Portland, general contractor
- Moyano Leadership Group Inc., Salem, civil design leader
- Advanced Energy Systems, Eugene, solar power specialty designer and installer
- HatiCon Solar and SAPA, with offices in Portland, providing racking for the project
- PHC Northwest of Portland, providing security lighting
- Good Company, Eugene, provided the project’s greenhouse gas analysis
The Baldock array, while generating clean energy, also adds value to a piece of publicly-owned land. During design, development and construction, the project supported at least nine different Oregon businesses, and it will continue to showcase those Oregon firms into the future. For example, the security lighting system was designed and built by Portland Habilitation Center Northwest. The lamps are energy-efficient LEDs that only come on if pressure is applied to the “smart fence” or if motion is sensed in the area, making this an energy-wise and sustainable design. In keeping with "night sky" standards, even when the lights are on, they point downward towards the earth, reducing their contribution to light pollution.
Landscaping for the project is provided through a partnership between PGE, ODOT, the Clackamas County Master Gardeners Association and the OSU Extension Service. Master gardeners designed and will supervise the maintenance of the water-wise landscape, which features plants that thrive in the hot, dry summers and wet, cold winters experienced in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. These plants require minimal care, providing years of beauty and enjoyment with very little effort – a lot like solar energy!
The Baldock Solar Station is the second project developed under the Oregon Solar Highway Program and it reflects state and national energy policy direction to develop sustainable energy resources. For more information, see the Fact Sheet and FAQ document.
What will electricity generated at this site be used for?
Because ODOT owns a portion of the Renewable Energy Certificates for this project, which certifies the ownership of green power, from the moment the array was connected to the grid in January, the Baldock Safety Rest Areas both north and southbound became powered by renewable energy – even when the sun isn’t shining. Ownership of the RECs allow ODOT to state that an equivalent portion of the energy produced is used for the operation and maintenance of the State Highway system – including powering the Baldock Safety Rest Areas.
What did this project cost?
It cost approximately $10 million to build this 1.75 Megawatt project. These costs were paid for through a partnership similar to the one that paid for the nation’s first solar highway project at the I-5/I-205 interchange. It involves private financing, tax credits and public investment.
Keep up to date at www.oregonsolarhighway.com and www.oregonsolarhighway.com