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May 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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From the Executive Director


Ron "Mac" McDowell



Happy springtime, everyone!

What a great time of the year to be a solar advocate.

Whew ... Earth Day was actually two weeks for Solar Oregon's staff and volunteers this year. It seemed like we were everywhere; at Intel's Earth Day event, at Nike's Eco Fair, at conferences, at Wells Fargo's employee event, and our Solar Drinks event at Tonkon Torp the evening of April 22nd. Many thanks to David Petersen, Duncan Delano and the entire Tonkon Torp LLC law firm for hosting our April Solar Drinks event, and for sponsoring several more of them this spring. We appreciate your support! Our May Solar Drinks event is already scheduled, so check it out.


Another rite of spring here at Solar Oregon is combining our love for solar with our love of wine.

Yes, we're hosting our second annual Solar Winery Tour on Saturday, May 10th. I went last year and it was a fun and educational event. We learned a lot about how nature and wine work together, and we were able to drink some great wines in the bargain. Board member Corey Omey (see profile) is the instigator of this event and he's got the backstory on how and why these great wineries went solar.  Seats are limited and I'm told we're already half full, so get your reservation in today.


Our new volunteer coordinator, Kenn Kochi, has been busy slotting in volunteers who attended our recent orientation. Several have put in tremendous hours in support of our events and office work. A shout-out of THANKS! to Britt, Bryce, Ian, Chatham, Chuck and Kenn himself! You folks complete me.


Lastly, I want to urge everyone to attend the upcoming 2014 Solar Now! University conference - scheduled for June 13-14 in Hillsboro, Oregon. This is our 5th such conference and it promises to be our biggest and best ever. The City of Hillsboro is hosting, and we've developed a solid program, lined up a great group of presenters and speakers, and Hillsboro will be taking attendees on a couple of field trips. So, this will be a jam-packed event and is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to network, share ideas, learn some new things, and push solar into the mainstream. Please sign-up today as some of the associated events, such as dinner at The Venetian and the field trips are limited seating and will be first-come in priority. Plus, our Early Bird pricing ends May 15th so act now. I hope to see you all there!


 >> Click here for more information about the 2014 Solar Winery Tour   

Volunteer for Solar Oregon!
Contact Volunteer Coordinator Kenn Koichi to find out about upcoming opportunities at 
Solar Drinks Sept 2010


May Solar Drinks

Jaimes worked for both the German Ministry of the Environment in its Renewable Energy division and with Badenova AG, a German energy utility during a year-long fellowship with the distinguished translantic Robert Bosch Foundation. In our May solar drinks he will provide insight into the reasons behind Germany's leadership in solar energy as well as share what aspects of the German solar industry could be applied in the United States in this exciting internationally focused Solar Drinks.  

   Umpqua Bank, South Waterfront branch

3606 SW Bond Ave Portland, OR 97239   


Food and Drinks will be provided.

Many thanks to this month's Solar Drinks sponsor, Tonkon Torp LLC!
* Photo courtesy of 
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May Solar Drinks
Solar Oregon says good-bye to Emily Krafft
Solar Oregon ramps up for its fifth Solar Now! University Conference
Meet the Team
Volunteer Coordinator talks Volunteer Orientation
Meet Solar Oregon's new Volunteer!
Solar in the Schools: Letter from a high school science teacher
Upcoming Events

Solar Oregon says good-bye 

to Emily Krafft 

Coming to Solar Oregon as an AmeriCorps alum whereas she had formerly worked with the Northwest Service Academy and Confluence Environmental Center before moving into the renewable energy field, Emily Krafft proved a quick study who immersed herself into the world of renewable and solar energy.

Solar Oregon ramps up for its fifth  

Solar Now! University conference

Bigger and shinier than ever  

and coming this June 12-14  




Solar Now! University (SNU) is a conference for those who make and want to make solar projects happen in the Pacific Northwest. It's where community leaders connect with industry experts; where big ideas meet hands-on information; and where renewable energy leaders illuminate where solar is now and how to help steer it.     


This year's conference is hosted by Solar Oregon and the City of Hillsboro. Please plan to join us in Hillsboro come June 12-14. You'll connect with other solar supporters, advocates and experts to share ideas, gain knowledge, exchange information and connect with others who are moving the solar power agenda forward in the Pacific Northwest.

Meet the Team



Solar Oregon Board Member


Corey is an architect, LEED AP, and Partner at Ernest R Munch Architecture, Urban Planning LLC. He is an avid solar supporter, with solar on their own home that he remodeled with his wife, Deb. They are true Solar Ambassadors. Their home is often shown on green home tours and is a model of how to incorporate energy efficiency, modern aesthetics, durability, art, light, renewable energy, and recycled, reclaimed, and re-used materials into a remodel project.    


>> Click here to read more

 Volunteer Coordinator talks  Volunteer Orientation
Kenn Koichi

I'm enthusiastic about helping potential volunteers become involved in our work. To this end, we held our first volunteer orientation of the year on Tuesday, April 1st. About a dozen potential volunteers attended, a mix of members and new faces, and they learned about the work we do and about the large number of ways to get involved. Mac McDowell, our executive director, gave an overview of the different types of events we did last year and some of the outreach and education events we've got planned for 2014.

 >>Click here to read more  
Meet Solar Oregon's new Volunteer! 

Bryce Magorian has been writing stories almost since he could hold the pencils, but after taking one too many ethics courses while earning his BA in Creative Writing at Pacific University he decided to put his writing talents to use telling the stories of nonprofits. Since graduating he has written grants, newsletters, etc. and performed other communications and outreach tasks for organizations involved in everything from workers' rights to transportation. Bryce began volunteering for Solar Oregon in 2014. He currently helps with writing their email outreach materials.


When not volunteering his time Bryce enjoys playing a variety of board games, going cycling, and debating ethics and philosophy with his close friends.

 Solar in the Schools:
Letter from a high school science teacher 
A Letter from Mr. Shannon Schilling, Sunset High School


I'm writing to deeply thank you and Solar Oregon for linking me up with your board president, Doug Boleyn, who served as an energetic and inspiring guest speaker in two of my high school physics classes last week.  


In December, as I was searching for a solar tech expert who could share the history of and motivations for the human harnessing of solar energy, I contacted your office and Emily Krafft gave me Doug's name. This was after I'd received a grant from PGE and the Portland STEM Metro Center to embed sustainable energy curriculum into my high school physics program. Doug enthusiastically agreed to come, bringing many different generations/technologies of panels (thin film vs crystalline, old ones vs new ones, etc) for students to compare.   


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