HomeBiggest projectsConstruction of Obsidian Solar Center Gets Greenlight, Oregon

Construction of Obsidian Solar Center Gets Greenlight, Oregon

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Obsidian Solar Center, got it’s final green light for construction last week after years of legal wrangling by regional farmers and ranchers.

The latter claimed that the solar installation, developed by Obsidian Renewables LLC of Lake Oswego, would displace animals like deer, elk and rodents onto nearby crop fields, and create issues with dust and heat plumes.  They also took issue with land designated for agriculture being used for non-agricultural purposes.

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The Solar Center will be built on approximately six square miles of land in the Lake County village of Christmas Valley, in what is known as the Oregon Outback. The location is perfect for Obsidian Renewables since it is the sunniest in the state and is near interstate transmission lines.

Obsidian Solar Center to be one of the largest of its kind in the host region and beyond

According to documents submitted to the Oregon Department of Energy, Obsidian Solar Center will be the largest solar facility in the Pacific Northwest and one of the largest in the country in terms of output, with more than 1.7 million solar panels generating at least 400 megawatts of energy at a time – enough to power more than 76,000 homes.

It will also be Obsidian Renewables’ 12th solar project in Oregon, and one of the seven utility-scale solar producing projects approved by the state since 2017.

Obsidian Renewables co-founder David Brown said the firm does not yet have a customer for the electricity, but it is likely to be huge utility corporations or data centers as far away as Seattle. Brown believes the energy will most likely remain in the Pacific Northwest.

Brown had planned to have the project done by 2022 or 2023 but now believes Obsidian will begin building in 2023 and complete the Solar Center by the end of 2024 at a cost of around US$ 500M.

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