Chamber backs airport solar

The board of the Chamber of Medford/Jackson County has unanimously endorsed a proposed solar power park at the Medford airport.

Solar cells covering the airport's short-term parking area and a 47-acre solar park are two projects advocates have proposed building with federal stimulus money.

The airport location would provide covered walkways and canopies over the short-term parking, and would provide a net-metering benefit to the airport and save approximately $81,000 per year in power costs.

Buzz Thielemann of RHT Energy Solutions, who proposed the projects, said whether they will get stimulus money will depend largely on the strength of the application and community and political support behind the project.

Construction of the $8.3 million short-term parking could generate around 100 jobs and the $75 million solar park could create around 200 jobs and an indirectly lead to another 1,200 positions throughout the state, Thielemann said.

— Greg Stiles

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