The rain-prone state of Washington in US has been a little slow in adopting the solar energy, but that is all about to change. Washington is pronouncing its first ever public lands lease for a solar farm. More than 500,000 solar panels are already scheduled for the new 150 megawatt Lund Hill project. This farm will produce solar energy that will cover both public and private lands in Klickitat County.
Klickitat County is not a prime location for US solar conversion and that’s why, this is a significant development in the US solar market. It may not be the rainiest county, but it ranges far afield from other counties in optimal PV performance. On an average, Klickitat County receives 100 days of precipitation every year.
Solar Panels in US
Apart from rainy weather, solar developers in Washington have to cope with competition from other renewables in the state, including the thriving new wind power sector and the hydropower operations.
The energy-guzzling data centers are delivering the economic incentive for more PV development in the Washington State, including big businesses like Facebook, Microsoft and Google among others.
As per the sources, another interesting fact between wind and solar resources is that wind and solar output will be managed within a grid to provide for reliable delivery without any extreme investment in solar energy storage facilities.
The Lund Hill project also fits in with the emerging PV trend in Alaska, which just hit the Clean Technica radar last week. On first look, Alaska would appear to be the least friendly state for solar panels in the US, but its solar resource profile is similar to that of Germany.
Other states in US with sub-optimal solar profiles are also hopping on the solar bandwagon. Minnesota’s newly minted governor awaits a big assist from the major utility Xcel, which recently pronounced an ambitious renewable energy plan of its own.
First Solar Panels in Washington
Washington State has a long-lasting lease program for commercial activities on its public lands, which includes more than a dozen wind farms and oil & gas exploration and agricultural operations. Until the new Lund Hill project, the state had no solar farms under its lease belt.
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