Northwest's Largest Solar Facility Built Amid Wind Turbines in Washington

November 1, 2007

The Pacific Northwest's newest and largest solar facility began producing electricity this month. The 450-kilowatt (kW) Wild Horse Solar Facility, recently built by Puget Sound and Electric (PSE), is unique in that it is situated within the company's 229-megawatt (MW) Wild Horse Wind Facility.

The 9,000-acre site, about 125 miles southeast of Seattle, receives as much sunshine as Houston, Texas. The solar facility, which comprises 2,408 solar panels, is a demonstration project that will help PSE and the renewable energy industry learn about the viability of large-scale solar generation in the Pacific Northwest. In addition, PSE hopes to learn about the potential for integrating solar and wind power at the same site.

The $4 million solar facility was designed by EI Solutions of San Rafael, California. EI Solutions also managed the five-month construction of the arrays.

Next spring, PSE will install 300 more solar panels outside its Wild Horse Renewable Energy Center, about a mile from the solar facility. The center's panels will be manufactured by Silicon Energy LLC of Arlington, Washington.

Besides its Wild Horse Wind Facility, PSE owns and operates a 150-MW wind farm, Hopkins Ridge, near Dayton. Together, the wind farms produce 379 MW, enough energy to serve 100,000 homes. The Wild Horse Solar Facility will produce enough energy for about 55 homes.

For more information, see the PSE October 31 press release.

To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Washington, see: