Clean Energy Road Trips
We're always on the lookout for something fun and educational to do with the kids. New clean energy plants in the Northwest offer the chance to learn about alternative energy production AND have a family trip at the same time. And if you happen to drive an electric vehicle, you can make use of Washington's and Oregon's new highways of electric goodness.
At the Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility and Renewable Energy Center (16 miles east of Ellensburg in Central Washington) visitors can check out the educational displays at the Renewable Energy Center created by PSE and Central Washington University. Visitors will learn more about wind and solar technology – as well as the area's unique natural history. They can also get up-close views of the wind turbines and solar arrays from a 3,500-foot ridge set against the backdrop of the Cascade mountain range.
In Oregon, the nation's largest solar highway project — an array of 7,000 solar panels across seven acres — is now open for visitors. The Baldock Solar Station, a 1.75 megawatt installation, is located along Interstate 5 northbound near Wilsonville. Visitors will learn about solar power and solar installations along Oregon's highways. The exhibits border a sustainable community garden put in by Oregon State University Master Gardeners.
At the Roosevelt Landfill near the Columbia Gorge in Klickitat County, methane is collected from rotting garbage and converted to energy. Read all about it here.
Want to take a road trip in your new electric vehicle? Try this route in Oregon which follows I-5. Or, you can take a tour of the "world's first EV tourism corridor" in Washington, between Seattle and Wenatchee.