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Are solar panels coming to Heritage Farm?

Solar panels may be coming to the 78th Street Heritage Farm. 

Elemental Energy, a Portland-based solar energy company, has proposed a two-megawatt solar farm on 5 acres of open land at the property. The Clark County Historic Preservation Commission is scheduled to discuss the possibility at its meeting Wednesday. 

Under the proposal, Clark Public Utilities customers would have an option to subscribe to a select number of panels and have the power generated from those panels be credited to their accounts. The concept is called “virtual net metering.”

The project would seek to attract low- to moderate-income customers and power 300 homes, according to the proposal. 

Project coordinators are applying for a state grant of up to $1 million for the project. For Heritage Farm, it could mean additional revenue from leasing fees — though the actual amount is not yet clear. 

The future of the property, which was founded in the 1870s as a poor farm, was an oft-mentioned topic over the past couple of years as the county worked to develop an updated master plan. The Clark County Council approved a plan in March and directed staff to develop a business plan to increase revenue from the property.

Jack Heffernan

Jack Heffernan

Jack Heffernan is a breaking news reporter and covers Clark County government for The Columbian.