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Muddy Creek Energy Park will support agriculture, renewable energy – and union jobs

The list of benefits from the proposed Muddy Creek solar project in southern Linn County is a long one.

The production of clean, renewable energy? Check.

Keeping land zoned for farming in production? Check.

Generating an estimated $1.6 million in tax income for the local community? Check that one, too.

But Muddy Creek promises even more than that. The project, which will combine renewable solar energy and traditional agriculture on 1,100 acres of land in southern Linn County, will also support more than 100 union jobs during its construction phase.

Drew Lindsey, business manager and financial secretary for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 280, took note of the project’s union component in a recent letter of support to the Oregon Department of Energy.

“If approved by ODOE, this project will see solar panels built on 1,100 acres of land north of Eugene, creating over 100 family-wage construction jobs during buildout and spurring an economic ripple effect throughout the area,” Lindsey wrote.

Members of IBEW Local 280, which is based in Talent, Oregon, would be among those union workers who would be employed during construction of the Muddy Creek solar project. They and others working on the project will also boost spending at local businesses in the area while construction is underway.

“We know that solar power helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decreases dependence on fossil fuels and increases energy efficiency,” Lindsey wrote. “IBEW Local 280 believes this first-of-its-kind agrivoltaic project will support the state of Oregon’s clean energy goals, preserve important agricultural land and expand economic opportunity in Linn County.”

Learn more about the benefits of the Muddy Creek solar project here.