September 24 Green Tour Includes CEC Community Solar Project

Local High Schoolers’ Solar Car On-site, Too

For the first time, The Environmental Center’s Green Tour will include a utility-scale solar energy project, Central Electric Co-op’s 200,000-watt community solar project on SE 27th St. in Bend. Typically the tour focuses on homes and buildings featuring state-of-the-art approaches to sustainability and renewable energy systems and the 16th annual event on Sept. 24 holds true to that formula. More information at  The inclusion of the CEC photovoltaic facility that began generating electricity in January is the first time such a facility has been included in the Green Tour.

The Tour is Saturday Sept. 24 and the CEC community solar project will be accessible to visitors from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Because the array of 700, 285-watt panels have no moving parts, there is no real action to observe. But visitors can get a closer look at how such a system is designed and built and ask questions about the technology and Central Electric’s community solar project. A map to the site with parking recommendations can be accessed HERE.

Students’ Solar Car Also on Display

The Oregon High School Solar Car Team’s entry in the 2015 Solar Car Challenge will also be at the project site. The car was designed and built by a team made up of high school students from the Bend La Pine School District. The

The Team’s 2015 Entry

team is currently working on its third solar car to race at the 2017 Solar Car Challenge at the Texas Motor Speedway. This is not a race of speed, but one of endurance. The ORHSSCT wants to create a car that can withstand the four-day race. The students work on everything including: the mechanics of building the car, computer software development, obtaining materials from the solar industry leaders, calling sponsors and generating public relations.  Their goal is to build a vehicle that is strong, fast, light, energy efficient, and completely powered by the sun.