Avista, Strata Welcome new 28-MW Solar farm in Eastern Washington


Original entry:

Spokane, Washington-based utility Avista Utilities and partner Strata Solar this week celebrated the completion of a solar farm bringing 28 MW of renewable electricity from eastern Washington into the grid.

Strata Solar developed the Adams Neilson Solar Farm, which is connecting into Avista’s Solar Select program. Avista, Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission and the Washington State University Energy Program, collaborated on the project.

Construction began in June on the 200-acre solar farm. Adams Neilson is reportedly Washington state’s biggest solar farm.

Located in Lind, WA., part of Avista’s electric service territory, the array is comprised of 81,700 panels and generate enough electricity to supply approximately 4,000 homes annually.

“We continue to grow Washington’s clean energy economy and developments like the Adams Nielson Solar Farm are helping us do just that,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement. This is the largest solar project in the state and the first utility-scale project.”

Strata Solar reports the economic and environmental benefits associated with the production of the 28 MW DC Adams Nielsen Solar project include:

  • Adams County will receive approximately $4 million over the next 20 years in property tax revenues, or approximately $200,000 annually, which can be used to lower tax rates, improve schools, maintain roads and enhance local services.
  • Traditional fossil fuel generation sources producing an equivalent annual amount of electric energy would emit greenhouse gases (GHG) consisting of nearly 40,604 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) according to the EPA’s website.

“Producing approximately 48,000 MWh annually of clean, renewable solar energy at our Adams Neilson project represents a significant environmental and economic milestone for Strata Solar, the local community and our many project partners including Avista, and Swinerton Renewable Energy,” said John Knight, chief development officer, Strata Solar. “We are proud to help contribute to Washington’s clean energy goals through the successful energy production from Washington’s largest solar energy facility.”

The project’s construction in 2018 was overseen by Swinerton Renewable Energy. The equivalent of more than 150 people worked on the project over the course of this year.

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