Since 2013, five large grid-tied, ground-mounted solar electric (photovoltaic) arrays have produced renewable electricity on Oregon State University agricultural lands as part of “Solar by Degrees,” a large-scale photovoltaic power program originally coordinated by the Oregon University System.  OSU was the first to install and have operational solar arrays.

The five arrays cover more than twelve acres combined. Three are in Corvallis and two are at OSU properties elsewhere in the state. The 35th Street array is the largest, at around six acres and 1,435 kilowatts. It is west of the Corvallis campus on the Campus Way multi-use path. The 53rd Street array is 289 kilowatts and is located adjacent to the multi-use path just east of the Benton County Fairgrounds. The Aquatic Animal Health Lab site, with a capacity of 482 kilowatts, is located near Trysting Tree Golf Course just east of the Willamette River, off the Corvallis campus.

The two locations outside Corvallis are in Aurora, Oregon and Hermiston, Oregon. A 221 kilowatt array in Aurora is at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC). A 431 kilowatt array at the Hermiston Agricultural Research & Extension Center was the first OSU solar location in Eastern Oregon. All five sites were developed in partnership with the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Click the links below to view real time energy production from each site!


The five arrays produce around 3,286,780 kilowatt hours annually, combined.  This provides between 3% and 4% of OSU's total electrical needs (for all facilities across the state).  According to the US EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, that is equivalent to reducing carbon dioxide emissions from 255,025 gallons of gasoline, eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from 477 passenger vehicles, or offsetting CO2 emissions from the electricity use of 312 homes for a year.

How It Works

Under a power purchase agreement, OSU is leasing land to Tesla, which installed, owns, maintains and operates solar equipment tied to the electric grid “downstream” from OSU electric meters. OSU purchases renewable electricity generated by the solar equipment at a rate lower than from the local utility but still relies on the utility to provide whatever power is needed beyond what the solar system can produce.

SolarWorld, at the time the largest United States solar manufacturer, supplied more than 3,000 high-performance solar panels for the installations. SolarWorld manufactured solar technology, from raw material silicon to finished solar panels, in Hillsboro, Ore., at its 97-acre U.S. manufacturing headquarters. In 2018 this facility was purchased by SunPower.