Efforts to put in solar panels to generate power at Oregon Institute of Technology have hit several delays...but the project still has a bright future.
Governor Kitzhaber helped to kick off the 'Solar By Degrees' program in August of 2011, when ground was broken to put solar panels on a hill behind O.I.T.
The Governor noted: "You'll be the first campus in the nation that is 100% renewable, and can generate all of its power needs for heat and lighting right there on campus."
A year and a half later, there are still no panels on the hill.
"Several companies have tried and failed." Explains Bob Simonton, Project Director at O.I.T. "The current company, Solar City, is actually accomplishing what we initially set out to do."
Solar City has already completed two solar array fields at Oregon State University. Simonton notes that they're scheduled to begin work at O.I.T. next...
"The current schedule is to start construction around June...the project is to be up and running, online, by the end of November."
Geothermal wells are also being developed to generate electrical power. Coupled with the solar array, O.I.T. could be the first energy independent campus on the planet.
The effort to introduce solar power at O.I.T. has been taking place by degrees - but O.I.T. officials are confident that it will be worth the wait.
Eastern Oregon University in LaGrande is the third Oregon campus scheduled to get a large-scale solar panel array through the 'Solar By Degrees' program.