Aurora-area solar farm reaps $20,000 a month from PGE program 

by Molly Young for The Oregonian, July 10, 2010

AURORA — When Dan Lever advertised a quarter-section of farmland for rent east of town, a man replied with an idea for a more permanent crop.

Lever now has 2,100 ground-mounted solar panels shining near his house. “It’s not a typical sight in a pastoral area,” Lever said. “But we’ll get used to it.”

The $2 million project buzzed to life July 1, one of the first large-scale participants in Portland General Electric’s solar payment option program, which buys electricity produced by customers and transfers it to the electric grid. The 500 kilowatt system is also Clackamas County’s largest ground-mounted solar array, practically hidden on some of the area’s oldest farmland.

“Nobody really knows about it unless you’re one of the neighbors,” said Kirk Cameron, whose Lake Oswego-based firm, NW Photon Energy, developed the project.

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