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Press Release: PacifiCorp 9/18/09

Solar Energy Project to Aid Klamath Irrigators

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore.— A pilot project will soon begin generating answers on how to effectively harness solar energy for irrigation and how to work best with the state’s net metering process.

The pilot project is a collaboration among Pacific Power, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Energy Trust of Oregon and the Klamath Water Users Association. A test site is being built on the Hartman family farm near Malin, Ore., and is expected to be operating by the next irrigation season.

“We’d like to help our customers by either finding ways to reduce energy consumption or by reducing energy costs,” said Toby Freeman, Pacific Power’s regional community manager. “One way to do that is to generate your own power on site with a solar array. Using a net metering arrangement, you can use the power you generate during the day and then place any excess power on the grid, receiving a credit.”

Energy Trust of Oregon is providing technical assistance for the solar installation as well as a cash incentive to help cover the system’s costs. “We’re happy to help provide funding for this project,” said Betsy Kauffman, senior program manager, Energy Trust. “It demonstrates that solar energy has broad applications across Oregon, and is an important piece of Oregon’s clean energy future.”

The project’s cost is underwritten by a USDA grant with matching funds from Pacific Power, Energy Trust of Oregon, the Department of Energy Business Tax Credit and from Linda and Harold Hartman, farm owners.

The USDA, through its Rural Business-Cooperative Service Section 9006 grant program, is providing funding and technical assistance.

The solar installation will provide 16 kilowatts of generation during daylight hours and apply the energy to a typical 40-horsepower irrigation pump. The project will be the first demonstration of freestanding, full dual tracking technology in southern Oregon. This technology tracks the sun as it progresses across the sky to maximize recoverable sunlight.

Upon completion, the project will become the property of Linda and Harold Hartman, who will receive training for maintenance and operation of the system. Data will be gathered to measure the system’s effectiveness and the installation will be accessible for demonstration purposes. It is expected the photovoltaic panels will continue generating power for 20 to 25 years.

“The development of all kinds of renewable electric energy generation: solar, wind, geothermal and others, can be for the benefit of our children and grandchildren and perhaps beyond,” said Linda Hartman.

Harold Hartman added, “We have been interested in and involved in all sorts of renewable energy production, including electric and fuels, since 1974. This project has been in planning and development for nearly four years, so we are very excited to get it up and running, in the hopes that it will encourage others to develop creative solutions to problems.”

About Pacific Power Pacific Power strives to promote innovation and works with customers and communities to increase the visibility of renewable energy generation technologies through education and community outreach. Pacific Power is headquartered in Portland and provides electric service to more than 724,000 customers in Oregon, Washington and California. As part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, Pacific Power and Rocky Mountain Power provide more than 1.7 million customers in six Western states with reliable, efficient energy. The company works to meet growing energy demand while protecting and enhancing the environment.

About Energy Trust of Oregon Energy Trust of Oregon, Inc., is a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing how Oregonians use energy by promoting energy efficiency and clean renewable energy for Oregon customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas. For more information, visit Energy Trust’s website energytrust.org or call 1-866-368-7878.

For further information: Toby Freeman, Pacific Power

Don Hollis, USDA,
541-278-8049 Ext.129

Betsy Kauffman, Energy Trust

Harold Hartman, Owner
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