Solar panels to save fairgrounds on power bill

      ALBANY, Ore. - Solar panels paid for by a grant are officially up and running at the Linn County Fairgrounds.

      It's a project Linn County officials say will help to pay electricity bills, which then frees up funds to be diverted to other areas.

      "It allows this facility to move towards being less dependent on tax dollars when we can get something like these panels," said County Commissioner Will Tucker.

      Tucker said the panels are projected to save the fairgrounds $8,000 to $11,000 per year.

      Wednesday was the official ribbon cutting of a new solar energy project at the Linn County Fairgrounds.

      Thanks to a more than $135,000 grant from Pacific Power Blue Sky, the panels are already up and running on one of the fairgrounds buildings.

      Though the panels have operational for several weeks, today the flip was switched.

      The project comes complete with a kiosk in the fairgrounds lobby that shows the power generated by the solar panels.