Bellevue, WA, May 9, 2007 — Puget Sound Energy (PSE), utility subsidiary of Puget Energy, announced that EI Solutions will design and construct for PSE the Pacific Northwest’s largest solar-power generating facility alongside the utility’s Wild Horse wind farm in central Washington. PSE plans to begin construction of the solar project in June and have most of its power-generating panels in operation before the end of 2007.
EI Solutions, based in San Rafael, CA, topped a field of 12 finalists to build for PSE a $3.7 million, 500-kilowatt (kw) solar-power generating facility. It not only will be the Northwest’s largest solar-powered system, but also will be the first commercial installation to use made-in-Washington solar panels.
As part of PSE’s contract with EI Solutions, Washington-based Outback Power Systems will provide 10 percent of the panels for the Wild Horse solar project.
Blue Oak Energy, a specialty solar-engineering firm, has been hired by PSE to review the project’s design and ensure that its equipment can withstand harsh winds of up to 120 mph that have been recorded at the site.
The Wild Horse solar project will have more than 2,500 photovoltaic solar panels mounted in two separate locations across five acres. Most of the panels will be located at an old quarry site too high (3,800 feet) for wind turbines due to aviation requirements, but typically above local fog and clouds.
The entire Wild Horse site, roughly 120 miles east of Seattle between Ellensburg and the Columbia River, includes 6,000 acres of PSE-owned land and 3,000 acres of state-owned property. The amount of sunshine in the area is similar to Houston’s.
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