44-acre solar project can power 2,000 homes

Can you provide information about what appears to be a huge solar farm on the 5900 block of McLoughlin Drive in Central Point?

— Ramona R., via email

Well, Ramona, the project you're talking about, at 5842 McLoughlin Drive, is able to power 2,000 homes.

According to an article about the project we published in November, the project includes 37,000 sun-tracking panels on 44 acres of a 68-acre property, along with inverters, power poles and driveways. The facility can produce 9.9 megawatts of electricity.

"The power that we are producing is then put into the grid, and the local utility disperses the power to homes and businesses," Jeff McKay, spokesman for Cypress Energy Renewables of Santa Monica, California, told us in November. The company began construction on the site in early November, and it was scheduled for completion in late December.

According to Cypress Creek, the clean energy from the panels would cut out 23,500 tons of carbon annually, which would be equivalent to planting 350,000 trees or taking 1,400 cars off the road.

Cost of construction is about $13 million, with another $7 million in development costs, according to Cypress Creek.

A solar farm is a permitted use on exclusive farm use land but is limited to 20 acres. As a result, county planners approved the 44-acre proposal under a state exception process.

— Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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