Only one year after opening, America’s largest solar highway project is opening up to rest stop visitors taking a break along Interstate 5 in Oregon. The project is a joint partnership between Portland General Electric and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
“With this project — the largest of its kind in the nation — we’re contributing to a strong future in clean, renewable energy resources for Oregon”
Generating energy alongside fields of corn and cabbage, “the Baldock Solar Station is a 1.75-megawatt solar array boasting nearly 7,000 solar panels across seven acres of the Baldock Safety Rest Area, located on Interstate 5 northbound near Wilsonville.”
Rest stop visitors to the station have access to a range of different displays about solar power in general and Oregon’s solar highway installations. The visitors are also able to walk along the large community garden bordering the site that was created by Master Gardeners from Oregon State University.
The project was built by and is operated on land owned by the Oregon Department of Transportation. It went online in January. The solar array’s total cost was around $10 million dollars, and it’s expected to produce around “1.97 million kilowatt-hours of energy each year — equivalent to 11 percent of ODOT’s need in PGE’s service territory.”
This station is the second joint highway solar project between PGE and ODOT and is helping PGE to meet the state’s Renewable Energy Standard, providing at 25 percent of its power from renewable energy sources by 2025.