PORTLAND, OR-Portland General Electric and US Bank have leased the tops of three warehouses here for what is being billed as the largest solar project in the Pacific Northwest. The project entails installing “thin-film” solar panels on the rooftops of three ProLogis-owned distribution warehouses in northeast Portland. The solar panels will cover more than 328,000 sf.

U.S. Bank and PGE have formed SunWay 2, LLC, to own and operate the system and to secure state and federal solar tax credits to help finance the project. The financing package was arranged by United Fund Advisors. Energy Trust of Oregon, a nonprofit organization that promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy, is providing about $1 million in incentives for the project.

Thin-film photovoltaic solar panels are ideal for rooftop installations, as they are lighter, require less structural support and have a higher wind rating than traditional glass laminated and aluminum framed solar panels. The system will be installed by publicly held Solar Integrated Technologies Inc., which has worked with ProLogis on solar energy systems in France and Spain.

ProLogis Park PDX, Building 4, the largest installation site, is located near the intersection of Interstate 84 and Northeast 148th Avenue, approximately five miles southwest of Portland International Airport. The system is expected to begin producing as much as 1.1 megawatts of electricity for PGE customers by December. To date, ProLogis has approximately six megawatts of solar panels installed or under development on rooftops in Southern California, France, Germany and Spain.

In March, the company announced a rooftop lease of more than 600,000 sf to power a 2.4 MW installation with Southern California Edison. The announcement marked the first deal of its kind in the US and is a part of the utility’s five-year, 250-MW solar project. ProLogis also has solar installations in France, Spain and Germany, and has completed three wind turbine installations in Japan.

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