Oregon’s largest solar farm at 205 MW comes online


Avangrid, a power and utility company of the Iberdrola Group, announced the commercial operations of the Pachwáywit Fields solar farm in Gilliam County, Oregon, becoming the largest operating solar farm in Oregon at 205 MW(dc) power capacity.

Pronounced Patch-Why-Wit, meaning “sun” in the Sahaptin language of the Columbia River, Ore.-based Native American tribe, the project is located on ceded lands of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs.

Previously known as Montague Solar, Pachwáywit Fields will deliver clean, renewable energy to commercial and industrial customers as well as municipalities enrolled in Portland General Electric’s (PGE) Green Future Impact program, allowing them to meet their ambitious sustainability and carbon reduction goals.

Avangrid spokeswoman Mariel Huerta Meza told pv magazine USA the project location was determined based on interconnection, transmission and offtake interest, solar resource, willing landowners, permitting, and constructability. For many years, Avangrid has brought clean energy jobs to Oregon communities near the Boardman power plant, a retiring coal generating facility. The Pachwáywit Fields location is also adjacent to operating Avangrid wind facilities, providing easier interconnectivity with existing infrastructure, she added.

The utility-scale project will provide clean energy to 17 of PGE’s largest customers, which include Intel, Digital Realty, Daimler Trucks North America and Comcast, as well as three universities and ten Oregon municipalities, according to PGE.

Pachwáywit Fields, which began construction in 2021, spans 1,223 acres or 1.9 square miles, and uses 471,156 modules solar panels, 42 TMEIC inverters, 52 WEG power transformers and Array Technologies trackers, providing enough clean power to approximately 40,000 local homes. During construction, the facility created around 300 jobs and brought $1.37 million to the community through local taxes and property lease payments.

Sterling & Wilson served as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the project, while Sukut Construction LLC performed civil, piles, and racking installation services.

“Thanks to Avangrid for selecting Gilliam County for this project, we now house the largest solar project in Oregon and will be receiving a significant increase in tax revenue in the future,” said Pat Shannon, Gilliam County Commissioner. “The project has also made Gilliam County the largest producer of combined wind and solar renewable energy in the State of Oregon.”

While the Pachwáywit Fields currently holding title to the largest solar installation in the state, it will soon be unseated by the 400 MW Obsidian Solar Center. Oregon’s Department of Energy has an active list of solar facilities in development and operations by county (AC power).

Oregon ranks 12th in the U.S. for renewable energy output, with 4.9 GW of active solar, wind and storage projects, according to American Clean Power. Oregon’s wind portfolio consists of 4.25 GW of power capacity assets, most of which is operational. About 17.3% of the state’s electricity is produced from renewable energy resources.

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: editors@pv-magazine.com.