A solar farm captures renewable energy from the sun.In a state that’s often maligned for its cloudy weather comes proof that the sun does actually shine in Washington.

Workers are putting finishing touches to 82,000 solar panels that will soon be converting energy from the sun into energy for homes and businesses in Eastern Washington.

Located near Lind’s pioneer cemetery, the gleaming blue solar cells will feed power to Avista as part of its portfolio of renewable energy.

The array will help one Spokane Valley manufacturer 85 miles convert to 100% renewable energy. Hotstart is buying 6% of the solar farm’s output, roughly 1.2 megawatts a year. It’s the maximum purchase allowed at the moment. It also happens to be exactly how much power Hotstart needs in a given year. The company makes preheating systems that keep large engines operating in the cold climates so they can be started.

Spokane Teachers Credit Union is another customer. STCU will be offsetting the power needed to run their Liberty Lake headquarters. The credit union’s data servers are housed there, so the building is a significant power user.

At 28 megawatts, the solar farm is the largest so far in Washington. An even larger farm with 40 megawatts of generating capacity is being considered in Adams County.

Read more in the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin.