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Contract awarded to start Greenbank solar project

Port of Coupeville commissioners approved a $34,300 bid by Whidbey Sun and Wind during their Dec. 8 meeting to set up the infrastructure needed for a solar project.

Port commissioners Marshall Bronson and Benye Weber expressed surprised at the difference between the two bids submitted for the project. In addition to the Coupeville-based Whidbey Sun and Wind, Anacortes-based Peak Electric submitted a $90,500 bid, nearly three times the amount of the bid the two commissioners ultimately accepted. Commissioner Ann McDonald didn’t attend the monthly port meeting.

The port, which owns the Greenbank Farm, wants a company to install and bury connecting cables from the proposed solar energy site located in the pasture to the nearest power terminal near the red-colored farm buildings, according to the bid documents the port gave to interested companies.

Commissioner Bronson said the contract should be conditionally accepted until the requirements of the project are double-checked to ensure the bid from Whidbey Sun and Wind is accurate.

Jim Patton, executive director for the Port of Coupeville, said he still has to negotiate details of a contract with Whidbey Sun and Wind.

The Port of Coupeville is working with Island Community Solar to develop a solar energy project financed through a combination of public dollars, private investments and state-funded energy credits. Initial plans call for either a 13 kilowatt or 26 kilowatt array to be placed at the farm with room for expansion as more investors come available.

Organizers hope to have the array installed sometime in the spring of 2011.

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