Oregon Public Broadcasting

Portland Community College unveiled its new field of solar panels Friday.

051812_solarpanels_pcc2_small.jpgAllyson Will / OPB

More than 20,000 solar panels installed at the Rock Creek campus will help supply the college with electricity. PCC estimates the solar panels will save the school $1.2 million over the next 25 years.

"Oregon as a whole is currently headed in the right direction," said Margi Hoffman, Gov. John Kitzhaber's Energy Policy Advisor. "We have worked to take an active role in charting an energy future that will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, strengthen our economy, create jobs and increase the over health and stability of our communities."

Hoffman said energy efficiency is the cheapest way to meet growing energy demands. The project is operated and maintained by SolarCity. PCC will have the option to purchase it after 20 years.

A flock of sheep living next to the solar panels is being used to keep the grass trimmed at the site.

Live streaming data of the array's solar output

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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