Solar Array Expansion Approved

March 27, 2017

Umatilla County Commissioners unanimously approved the expansion of Umatilla Electric’s Moyer-Tolles Solar Array located on Highway 730 near McNary.

The decision was made March 15 to allow for 80 acres of previously designated “high-value farmland” to be used for the member-owned solar station. Commissioners and county staff noted the area does not have a water right and has never produced crops. Its high-value designation refers to state rules applied to territory within the Columbia Valley American Viticulture Area, which applies to much of the county.

In the coming years, UEC must provide 25 percent of its energy from renewable resources, such as solar and wind, and the Moyer-Tolles Solar Array will help in achieving that goal. 

UEC will have to ask the county for a separate conditional use permit for future development when it occurs.