As part of an Earth Day project to light the golden pioneer atop the Oregon Capitol Building, Solid Ground Electric, Philomath, Ore., installed 60 photovoltaic panels above the building’s west wing to make it the first state capitol building in the country to use a renewable power source.

Of the 234,000 kWh the system is expected to produce in the next 30 yr, 150,000 kWh will feed into the Pacific Gas & Electric power grid. The remaining power will be used to light the Oregon Pioneer statue atop the building’s rotunda.

“Last year’s energy crisis really brought the need for new power sources to the forefront,” says Dan McCabe, owner of Solid Ground Electric. “Our company is excited about our work on this project and others that are bringing renewable sources of energy online.”

The lighting project formed as a partnership between the Independent Electrical Contractors of Oregon, which represents the state’s merit shop electrical contractors, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 280.