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If you've seen an interesting sight along Valleyhigh Drive west of 50th Street in northwest Rochester, we now know what's being built on that location.

Being that we live in an area of northwest Rochester with a pretty good sightline to this project, I noticed it along the horizon while walking our dogs a few days ago. But this project taking shape along Valleyhigh Drive isn't exactly a secret-- it was announced over two years ago.

So just what is it? It's the new Westside Solar Project (WSP) being built by Rochester Public Utilities (RPU). And those massive solar panels (eventually 32,000 of them) can be seen for quite a while along the south side of Valleyhigh Drive as you head west of 50th Street.

Curt St John/Townsquare Media-Rochester/Preston
Curt St John/Townsquare Media Rochester-Preston
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According to RPU's Plugged In, the new Westside Solar Project is all part of RPU's pledge to become 100 percent renewable by 2030. When it's finally done later this spring, those panels will produce 10 megawatts (MW) of solar energy generation.

In case you (like me) don't know exactly what 10 megawatts of power means, RPU explained more about the project:

  • The solar system will contain nearly 32,000 solar panels 
  • The panels are installed on a base that tracks the sun from east to west throughout the day, enabling them to capture more of the sun’s energy
  • The power produced from WSP is equivalent to avoiding CO2 emission from 26 million gallons of gasoline, 3,945 homes' electricity use for a year, and 2.33 million smartphones charged.

RPU said the entire WSP should be done later this spring. You can find out more about the WSP HERE. It already looks pretty massive!

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