New solar farm to supply Templeton homes with power

A new solar farm will soon generate power for hundreds of Templeton homes.

The Finley family, which has owned the 20-acre site at 630 El Pomar since the 1970s, partnered with Minnesota-based Ecos Energy to install panels on the property. The two-megawatt solar farm has the potential to provide electricity for between 250 and 500 homes, according to Bob Finley.

A ribbon-cutting was held on Thursday, but the solar farm will not be fully operational until the middle of February, he said. “They (the solar panels) all run on a chain and follow the sun automatically,” he said.

The panels are made of non-glare glass, and the natural landscaping helps it to blend in with the environment.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has a 20-year contract to buy power from the family. Finley declined to disclose how much he stands to earn from selling power, but he noted that it helped him save the ranch.

“We raised quarter horses for many years, and I quit doing that,” he said. “Then we ran cattle, but of late, I haven’t been doing that because of the drought. I got rid of them all, and I’m hoping to get more when it turns around. The solar farm gives me income.”