SunPower Breaks Ground on Oregon’s Largest Solar Plant

The facility is estimated to create approximately 300 jobs during peak construction.

San Jose, Calif.—SunPower Corp. announced the start of construction on a 56-megawatt (AC) solar plant in Crook County, Ore. Gala Solar Plant is scheduled for completion by the end of 2017 and is anticipated to be the state’s largest operating solar power facility.

SunPower panels
SunPower panels

“I’ve often said that in Oregon, we don’t believe economic development and environmental stewardship are mutually exclusive ideas,” Oregon Governor Kate Brown said in a prepared statement. “The approximately 300 jobs expected to be created by the Gala Solar Power Plant are proof we can grow our rural communities and support a vibrant and innovative renewable energy industry.”

Gala Solar Plant will have installed SunPower’s third-generation SunPower Oasis platform. The Oasis platform has a quick installation process and optimizes site utilization to lower the cost of energy for customers. Furthermore, the platform has 50 percent fewer parts than conventional solar power plant systems, as well as an integrated solar tracker design that streamlines construction and reduces operations and maintenance costs.

“While solar is cost-competitive today, SunPower is continuing to drive the cost of energy down through innovation and integrated complete solutions such as our Oasis platform,” said Ty Daul, SunPower vice president, Americas Power Plants. “We’re pleased to contribute to economic development in Oregon with the construction of this milestone project.”

“Solar power projects deliver a range of regional benefits, including job creation and affordable emission-free power,” added Ann Beier, assistant planning director, Crook County Community Development. “We are proud that, working in partnership with SunPower on the Gala Solar Power Plant, Crook County is helping lead the way in Oregon in supporting increased solar development.”

The general contractor for the project is Moss. The Gala site will generate more megawatt-hours per acre compared to conventional solar technology, thanks to the high-efficiency SunPower E-Series panels that will be installed on the SunPower Oasis trackers. This new type of panels deliver excellent performance to optimize returns and are backed by Sunpower’s 25-year Combined Power and Product Warranty.

Image & video courtesy of SunPower