For three decades, a plot of land sat fairly dormant on Division Drive in Big Bear Lake. It was the source of a water supply — wells belonging to the Big Bear Lake Department of Water and Power. The plot of land has a new identity, and the end result is power and savings.

The DWP’s solar project sits just north of the Convention Center at Big Bear Lake on property the DWP has owned for 30 years. The original plan for the solar project was to generate enough power for four wells, according to Reggie Lamson, general manager of the DWP. The project evolved and will provide energy for six well services. Adding to that, the project came in under budget, began operations a week early, will save $136,000 in energy costs and $100,000 for rate payers annually.

Solar projects aren’t always attractive, but this DWP project isn’t recognizable as a solar farm. The 682 solar panels are hidden from view by 7-foot tall fencing on all sides. The front entrance on Division Drive is a xeriscape demonstration garden that is colorful and inviting.

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