Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Start on Solar

In the current issue of the Hillsdale News, I've written a story about the possibility of Rieke Elementary School having its own photo-voltaic panels by the end of this year. Yesterday Steve McGrath of Commercial Solar Ventures, and Catherine Diviney, the solar specialist for Portland Public Schools, scrambled up the slope above Bertha Court to assess the site for the 200-foot-long solar array. The panels would provide 60 percent of Rieke's electricity.

McGrath reported that the site would work although it isn't perfect. The exposure isn't perfectly oriented to the south. A slightly less steep grade would be better, he said. Still, he gave it a thumbs-up.

An open house to discuss the installation with the community members will likely be held in June. Topics of discussion include the appearance of the panels and whether they would reflect into the nearby Watershed.

The rendering (below) of what the $800,000 - $850,000 panel array might look like on the hillside was made by Brian Sheehan of the Portland Planning Bureau. The stop sign is at the corner of Bertha Court and Bertha Boulevard. The Healy Heights tower is in the distance.

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