Oregon Institute of Technology broke ground on several renewable energy projects this week. Its goal is to become 100 percent carbon neutral and to produce all its power on-site.
OIT officials say the new solar array and geothermal power plant should allow the school to produce all its power on-site with renewable energy. Construction began earlier this month.
Bob Simonton is the Project Manager for the Oregon Institute of Technology’s Geothermal Power Plant and Solar Array Projects. He says the road to developing these renewable energy projects has been long.
“The first contractor we selected couldn’t get the financing together, so they backed out. Then we went to the next responder, they went bankrupt after we had the groundbreaking here. And then our third attempt we have Solar City on board. And they’re actually getting it all done,” Simonton says.
According to Simonton Solar City will lease the land from OIT and sell the power to the school at a lower rate than the current provider. A combination of an Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit, which is valued at $15 million, and government subsidies, will help fund the projects.
Construction is scheduled for completion by next year.