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New Eastern Washington solar power facility opens

The White Bluffs Solar Station near Richland, Washington, a photovoltaic solar power facility, was put into service Friday, according to the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. The station, which consists of 242 solar panels, is estimated to be able to produce 29.5 kilowatts of alternating current.

The plant was developed and funded in a partnership between Energy Northwest, Bonneville Power Administration, Bonneville Environmental Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Energy Northwest will own and operate the facility, while BPA will integrate the power into its distribution system. The Bonneville Environmental Foundation will market the environmental attributes of the plant -- displaced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions -- to buyers who want to offset the negative environmental effects of their own direct power consumption.

The power has been pre-sold for the next two years to Clark Public Utilities and Puget Sound Energy for their ratepayers who are participating in the utilities' green power programs, the foundation said.

WallulaGen Corp. of Mercer Island, Washington, through the foundation, contributed $50,000 of the $230,000 capital costs at White Bluffs as part of a mitigation agreement with the state allowing the company to build a large gas-fired power plant near Wallula.




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