Wednesday, 03 March 2010 04:30
By Oliver M. Bayani

P.G.E.’s solar roofs will cover the top of seven distribution warehouses of ProLogis. Above is a rendering of the project. Photo from BusinessWire

Portland General Electric will add to its solar energy portfolio a 2.4-megawatt solar rooftop project in Oregon that is said to be the largest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest.

Spanning roughly 900,000 square feet, the solar roofs will cover the top of seven distribution warehouses of ProLogis, a distribution facilities company, in Portland, Gresham and Clackamas.

Northwest Solar Solutions, a division of Snyder Roofing, will install thin-film solar panels provided by United Solar Ovonic, a subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices Inc.

SunWay 3 L.L.C., a joint venture between the United States Bank and P.G.E., will own and operate the system and will secure state and federal solar tax credits to help finance the project.

The project received funding from the utility’s Clean Wind program, as well as $2.3 million in incentives from the Energy Trust of Oregon.

The 2.4-MW system is P.G.E.’s second solar rooftop project with ProLogis, following a 1.1-MW project installed in 2008. This puts the utility’s total partnership with ProLogis to 3.5 MW of solar energy, enough to power approximately 388 households every year.

In total, the utility now has more than 12 MW of solar capacity in its portfolio, including 9.1 MW from customer-owned solar installations and a 104-kilowatt solar highway project with the Oregon Department of Transportation.

The state of Oregon requires its utilities to source 25 percent of their output from renewable energy by 2025. P.G.E. currently sources 10 percent of its output from renewable sources, the largest percentage of which is generated at Biglow Canyon wind farm.

Among utilities, P.G.E. (NYSE:


) ranks eighth in the United States for total solar capacity, according to the Solar Electric Power Association.The association awarded P.G.E. in 2009 with the Solar Business Achievement Award for being the first utility in the nation to adopt a third-party ownership model to help develop large-scale solar projects in the state.

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