Adam Spencer, The Triplicate

More than a half-million dollars in grants will go toward solar energy projects at the Medford airport, a Coos Bay food bank and the Smith River printing plant owned by the Del Norte Triplicate.

The funding comes from Pacific Power's voluntary Blue Sky renewable energy program, which gives Pacific Power customers the option of subsidizing the renewable energy market for as little as $2 a month.

"These projects in Coos Bay, Medford and Smith River are examples of our customers' deep commitment to building a renewable energy future," said Pat Reiten, president and CEO of Pacific Power in a press release. "Not only will these facilities supply renewable energy, but they are helping teach a new generation about renewable energy. We're proud to be part of this important effort along with our Blue Sky customers."

The printing plant in Smith River will receive $60,000 for a pole-mounted solar installation with 8.4 kilowatts of solar capacity. The Triplicate plans to educate and inform the community about renewable energy with the project.

Just shy of $310,000 will be spent on a solar array at the South Coast Food Share, a food bank in Coos Bay, generating a solar capacity of almost 80 kilowatts and allowing the food bank to provide 67,000 more pound of food a year, according to Pacific Power.

Rogue Valley International Airport in Medford will receive more than $170,000 for a solar awning that will stretch from the parking lot to the terminal entrance, providing protection from the elements as well as 25 kilowatts of solar capacity.

About 46,300 Pacific Power customers currently participate in the Blue Sky program across Oregon, Washington and California.Pacific Power does not make a profit from the Blue Sky program, but with Blue Sky money, the company partially funds renewable energy and community projects.

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