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Industrial Finishes Solar Project – Eugene Oregon

Project Description

Industrial Finishes and Advanced Energy Systems of Eugene, Oregon unveils a 450 KW solar electric system.  Tax credits, incentives, and utility agreements make Oregon’s largest commercial solar array a reality.

Eugene, Ore August 1, 2007 It all started when Stuart Barr began researching solar panels for his ranch off grid well pump over 3 years ago. Now, under construction is a solar array that is the largest PV system to be installed in the Pacific Northwest.  This 450 KW system will generate almost 500,000 kilowatt hours (kwhs) per year and feed its green electricity directly into the Eugene Water and Electric Board’s (EWEB) grid system.

It was a combination of tax credits, financial incentives and the prospect of selling the power generated at a premium rate that attracted Barr’s VP of Finance, Randy Friesen, to solar energy. The tax benefits for installing a solar electric system are substantial and the prospect of EWEB paying us 15 cents per kilowatt hour generated is appealing said Friesen. I don’t know why more businesses aren’t taking advantage of this. It makes financial sense and it’s the right thing to do.

This 450 kilowatt system features 2,574 Sharp 175 watt mono-crystalline photovoltaic panels and 2 Satcon 225 KW inverters, and will start generating power in December. The system covers the roofs of 2 buildings and includes 3 different attachment methods.  A non-penetrating clamp and rail system is used on one building which has a standing seam metal roof, while a combination of tilt-up racks and a non-penetrating Sunlink system is utilized on the large flat roof of Industrial Finishes. 


Advanced Energy Systems (AES) has designed the majority of the commercial PV systems in Oregon, including the largest building integrated system for Pepsi-Cola in Klamath Falls, said David Parker, President of AES, whose company designed and is installing Industrial Finishes system with Reynolds Electric.This is the best technology available today to generate clean, renewable solar electricity for the next 35 years with minimal maintenance.  We have created a solar project that will generate more than 100% of the electricity Industrial Finishes needs on an annual basis, to run its operations in Lane County.

The package of incentives and tax credits that closed the deal for Barr and Industrial Finishes included $72,000 per year in generation payments from EWEB, $1.6 million in Business Energy Tax Credits from the Oregon Department of Energy, a $960,000 Federal Tax Credit, and an accelerated 5 year state and federal tax depreciation schedule.  In addition to the financial incentives the environmental benefits are huge.  Over its lifetime the system will save over 13,000 tons of greenhouse gases or the equivalent of 1.3 million gallons of gasoline. 

As a condition of the 10 year contract with EWEB, all solar electric systems receiving incentives must be directly connected to the local utility grid.  This allows EWEB to then resell this renewable electricity to its customers under its new Greenpower program.

See eweb.org for more details.

Project Partners:
Eugene Water and Electric Board
Reynolds Electric

Project Details

Client Industrial Finishes
Skills Solar Electric

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