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February 2014  



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Solar Oregon strives to help all Oregonians achieve a clean energy future by providing public education and community outreach on solar energy as a part of an overall energy conservation and reduction goal.


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They say you should eat your energy efficient vegetables before moving on to solar dessert. That's what the Page household did and are now reaping the energy savings from their rooftop solar electric system.  
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EVs + Solar: A Perfect Match
New US Power Sources 99% Renewables
Meet the Team, Holly Murphy
March Solar Drinks
Two Oregon Universities Selected for Solar Decathlon
Our New Moon Shot: Restore a Healthy Climate by 2070
Meet the Team, David Petersen
Living Future 2014
Upcoming Solar Events in Oregon
photo by Honda
EVs + Solar: A Perfect Match

by Zach Henkin, Solar Oregon Board Member 


Electric vehicles in the form of battery plug-ins and plug-in hybrids are being adopted and deployed at an undeniable quickening pace. The Department of Energy tweeted this image in July of last year that graphs the cumulative sales of EVs versus hybrids. Considering that hybrid vehicles are already a mainstay of automobiles driven today, this comparison is telling. With automakers ambitiously releasing more cars with plugs aimed at all levels of consumers, zero emission deployment goals set by governments, and infrastructure build out on the rise, it is a foregone conclusion that more electric vehicles are on the way.


Driving on electricity creates many opportunities for lowering emissions and saving on transportation costs. Charging in even some of the most worst grid conditions in the United States, where coal is a heavy part of the generation mix, generates less carbon emissions for the same amount of travel than would be required by fossil fuels. A great article by Green Car Reports dispelled much of the "dirty EV" myth, citing several reliable scientific studies. Less carbon in the air is good. Marrying both solar photovoltaics (PV) and EVs is even better. Driving on solar empowers drivers to commute generating zero emissions while eliminating their cars' reliance on fossil fuels, coal, and natural gas.  

Strong Start for Solar in 2014  
New U.S. January Power Sources 99% Renewables

From ASES Solar Today 


According to the latest "Energy Infrastructure Update" report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Office of Energy Projects, non-hydro renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, solar, wind) accounted for more than 99% of all new domestic electrical generating capacity installed during January 2014 for a total of 324 MW.  


Solar led the way last month with 13 new "units" totaling 287 MW followed by geothermal steam with three new units totaling 30 MW. Biomass added three new units totaling 3 MW while wind had one new unit with an installed capacity of 4 MW. In addition, there was 1 MW added that FERC defined as "other."


In other national solar news, US solar jobs are on the rise according to the latest Solar Foundation report, with solar employment growing 10 times faster than the national average employment rate>>Click here to read a synopsis of their findings and access the full report  

Meet the Team 


Solar Oregon welcomes our newest team member, Holly Murphy.  As the Event Management Intern, Holly works on the monthly Solar Drinks networking events and Solar Now! University. She  holds a B.S. in Sports, Entertainment, and Event Management from Johnson and Wales University with a strong interest in creative and sustainable events. Her past experience includes working on the Go Green Conferences, Living Future, the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, and a number of community events and non-profits. Along with her Solar Oregon duties, Holly shares her time working as a Floral Designer in the Pearl district. Outside of work, she has a passion for sailing, the great outdoors in the Northwest, and amazing food.
Solar Soft Costs: What Can Oregon Do?
Wednesday, March 26, 6-8pm


Part of PV system costs come from the components - the modules, the inverter, and other hardware - whose prices are often determined on national and international markets. But a large proportion of the system costs are so-called "soft costs", such as paperwork, labor and marketing. Rob Del Mar of the Oregon Department of Energy will discuss what Oregon can-and can't-do to bring down these soft costs and incentivize even more people to install solar in the state. 


Join us at the solar powered Old Market Pub 6959 SW Multnomah Blvd, Portland, OR.
Two Oregon Universities Selected For Prestigious
2015 Solar Decathlon 

The U.S. Department of Energy announced its selective group of 20 collegiate teams for the  Solar Decathlon 2015 competition. These teams were chosen from universities and colleges  

Photo by Jason Flakes/ U.S. Department of Energy, Solar Decathlon

across the county and the globe, and will be offered the opportunity to begin a two-year process of building their own unique solar-powered house. During this biannual competition, students will have to produce a solar house that is innovative, affordable and highly energy efficient.  


This year two Oregon universities have been selected for the competition. Team Oregon, a team composed of both Oregon Institute of Technology and Portland State University students, will be among the collection of 12 new schools chosen to participate in 2015. This selection also marks the first time in the competition's history that a school from Oregon has been chosen.


 >>Click here to continue reading

Our New Moon Shot: Restore a Healthy Climate by 2070  

At the recent Citizens' Climate Lobby Regional Conference in Portland, participants were inspired by a positive outlook for the future, a vision for restoring the climate by year 2070. Our New Moon Shot: Restore a Healthy Climate by 2070 was written by Peter Fiekowsky, physicist, business owner, and volunteer for the Citizens' Climate Lobby. He says, "We can restore the climate of the 1980s by 2070. It won't require a miracle or big sacrifices, just the will and policies to do it."


Fiekowsky compares the current situation with President Kennedy's 1961 speech challenging the United States to put a man on the moon. Many people thought that was an impossible goal, but the country rose to the occasion.


>>Click here to continue reading  

Meet the Team
DAVID J PETERSEN, Solar Oregon Board Member

David has been on the board for several years and serves on our

marketing committee. He is an attorney and a partner at Tonkon Torp LLP where he chairs the Energy Practice Group. He focuses his practice on renewable energy, real estate development and local government law and has significant experience resolving complex real estate, title, regulatory, financing and permitting matters on utility scale wind and solar energy projects in the Pacific Northwest, California and across the nation.


David also represents non-profit entities in real estate matters including leasing, purchase and secured financing. His work for nonprofits includes the day to day real estate needs of Community Services, Inc., an operator of about 18 group homes for developmentally disabled adults in the Portland Metro area. David is also a member of CSI's Board of Trustees.


A native of Buffalo, New York, David graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse University in 1991 with a B.A. in history. He subsequently earned his law degree from the University at California, Berkeley where he was a member of the Order of the Coif, and the 1998 recipient of the Jamison Award for excellence in scholarship and advocacy.


He enjoys managing his son's Little League team and having his pointless shouting ignored at his daughter's soccer games.

Solar Oregon is a proud community partner of Living Future 2014. Thanks to everyone who attended the February ramp up event, Living Energy at the June Key Delta Community Center. The main conference will be held on May 21 - 23, 2014 in Portland, and will be a great opportunity to continue the conversation on getting to net zero energy use.  This event provides innovative design strategies, cutting-edge technical information, and the inspiration needed to achieve significant progress toward a truly living future.  


 >>Click here for more information

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