Umatilla Electric Solar Project Completed - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Umatilla Electric Solar Project Completed

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HERMISTON, OR- Umatilla Electric Cooperative is proud to introduce their $2.5-million solar array located off of Highway 730. There are 3,952 solar panels on the 6.5 acres of land. 

This is the first utility scale generation plant for Umatilla Electric Cooperative and the amount of energy produced could power between 110 to 120 homes a year. That's based on the average of 1200 kilowatt hours of electricity used per month by a homeowners. 

The UEC Finance Manager, Kevin Ince told us they've been planning the project for a little over a year, design started in April of 2015 and the actual construction began in November and lasted about 10 weeks. When we asked him how he feels now that the project is complete and generating power, "it's great, I'm a finance person so most of the time anything I produce is on a piece of paper or income statement so we don't get a chance to get out of the office and build something you can touch and feel and see". 

They're proud to say they're the largest consumer-owned array in the state of Oregon, among other cooperatives and PUD's. 

The solar array will help the cooperative meet future requirements from Oregon's Renewable Portfolio Standard and will also allow them to provide their members with 25 percent renewable energy. 

Ince also told us the solar panels have been generating power since February and on your average sunny day they're expected to produce over 6,000 kilowatt hours of energy.