Cornelius nursery takes solar lead


When finished, the project will be Oregon’s largest application of solar thermal  energy.

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Instead of producing electricity, the solar panels will heat the tank water, which will circulate underground and warm the plants growing in a 54,000-square-foot greenhouse.

It was a combination of things that drew Grace Dinsdale back to the family farm 28 years ago, where she transformed a struggling dairy into a profitable plant nursery. One was the simple joy of growing things. Another was a complex sense of stewardship.

Both are at play in the project rising from the ground at her 130-acre Blooming Nursery. There, workers are installing an array of towering solar panels that will stretch nearly the length of the nursery’s 700-foot driveway. Nearby, a crew is applying insulating foam to a covered concrete tank that will hold 300,000 gallons of water.

Read more in the Oregonian.