November 2014 Newsletter
Thank you to our newsletter sponsor

In This Issue:
Cocktail Social:Thank you to everyone who attended!
Seeds for the Sol: Giving Power to the People
Volunteer Spotlight: Ashley Love
Reminder: Gain Recognition as a Northwest Solar Community
Solar Shout Outs!
Upcoming Events
Professional Member Recognition
Join Solar Oregon


Over eighty Solar Oregon supporters joined us at our October Cocktail Social toenjoy delicious cocktails and food and hear from Margi Hoffmann, the Energy Advisor to Governor Kitzhaber, and Interim Executive Director Evan Manvel. 
Margi Hoffman talks about the Governor's 10-year energy plan.
Ms. Hoffmann talked about Oregon's 10-year energy plan and noted fighting global warming is one of Governor Kitzhaber's top two goals for his final term in office, creating an opportunity for solar energy advocates.

Thanks to all those who attended, gave, and/or bought auction items! We'd specially like to thank our main sponsors, Tonkon Torp, Rolling River Spirits, Cascade Solar Consulting, and Cuisine Bebe Catering, as well as our supporting sponsors Renewable Northwest and Merryman Barnes Architects.

Our goal is to hold the Cocktail Social each year. We look forward to your ideas, sponsorship, and presence in 2015!
Seeds for the Sol: Giving Power to the People

Earlier this year Solar Oregon, through our involvement in Northwest Solar Communities, awarded five $10,000 mini-grants to nonprofits and local governments in Oregon to increase the deployment of rooftop solar. Among the grantees was Seeds for the Sol, a nonprofit, grassroots organization in Corvallis. In partnership with the Corvallis Environmental Center, their fiscal sponsor, they have been working to address this common barrier:

Do you have $15,000 in savings? Can your family afford the monthly payments and interest of a new loan? Despite attractive tax incentives, the investment necessary to transition to solar is another cost most homeowners cannot afford.

Corvallis "Sun Harvesters" excited to be able to install solar thanks to Seeds for the Sol.

Their solution: work to reduce the upfront price of solar through community wealth-sharing. The program is simple. Community members convert some of their savings to interest free loans, which a neighbor borrows to install solar on their home. Seeds for the Sol facilitates the exchange and provides loan security. It's an innovative, local solution, that Solar Oregon is really excited to see sprouting and allowing more families to go solar!

Now, in collaboration with Benton Habitat for Humanity, Seeds for the Sol has launched a crowd-funding campaign to finance solar systems on the homes of two Habitat partner families. The Kanode and Moore families have recently moved into the homes of their dreams. Consider joining us to help these deserving families achieve energy independence in this new chapter of their lives. Find out more about supporting these two families here and Seeds for the Sol financing programs here.

Volunteer Spotlight: Ashley Love

This fall we welcomed a new volunteer to our office, Ashley Love. Serving as our Event Coordinator, Ashley immediately jumped into action supporting our Annual Cocktail Social and Annual Member Meeting. She will be helping to plan next year's Solar Drinks and Solar Now! University.


Ashley recently moved to Portland from Eugene where she was working as Director of Communications for an international business dealing in LED lighting and manufacturing and the creative arts industries. Her event management experience spans from coordinating international exchange programs and events, to arts education programs for college students and adults and corporate trade show participation across the U.S. 


She is new to the energy sector, and is looking forward to learning more about solar and clean energy through working with Solar Oregon. Ashley attributes her interest in the environment and using resources responsibly to her experiences living in Japan and Hawaii, working on environmental/biological surveys in Tortuguero, Costa Rica, and travelling to lower income areas of Southeast Asia. She is taking graduate courses in Public Administration at Portland State University, and is hoping to gain insight into the non-profit sector through volunteering here at Solar Oregon. Her hobbies include running, bike touring and learning about other people and cultures.


Welcome to the team, Ashley!

Reminder: Gain Recognition as a Northwest Solar Community!

Last month we announced the launch of the Northwest Solar Communities (NSC) recognition program. NSC is a coalition of over 30 jurisdictions, utilities, and solar industry partners, working to make rooftop solar more cost effective in the Pacific Northwest. By tackling the soft costs of solar (non-equipment cost), jurisdictions and utilities can improve customer service, increase operational efficiency, and promote local business activity in their communities. Jurisdictions making progress on reducing soft cost are invited to apply for recognition. In addition to being featured in the governors' proclamations, the communities will be highlighted on the Northwest Solar Communities website, and will be able to use Northwest Solar Communities designation in their official communications. For more information on the recognition and application process visit the NSC website.
Solar Shout Outs!

A new report out from the U.S. Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows that solar just keeps on becoming more affordable. Distributed solar photovoltaic system prices dropped by 12 - 19 percent nationwide in 2013. Furthermore, by the end of 2014, prices are expected to drop another 3 - 12 percent, depending on system location and market.
SolarWorld Facility

Big news out in Hillsboro as SolarWorld announced that to meet growing solar demand the U.S., they would be expanding the capacity of their solar panel factory in Oregon and adding 200 green, local jobs!

While we at Solar Oregon already knew that solar was contagious, now there are studies proving it: "If you install solar photovoltaic panels on your roof, that greatly increases the odds that your neighbors will, in turn, install their own panels...[in Connecticut researchers concluded that] adding one rooftop system on a block increased the average number of installations within a half mile radius by 0.44."

Oregon was again recognized for have some of the best net metering and interconnection policies in the country, being one of five states to receive "A" grades in the 2014 Freeing the Grid Report.
Upcoming Solar Events


Held annually by Portland's Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, this year's November Fix-it Fair will be held at Parkrose High School. This a free event where you can learn ways to save money and connect to resources by visiting exhibits and participating in expert-led workshops on a variety of topics. Solar Oregon will be have an information booth and be leading a workshop on Solar Electric. Hope to see you there!

Saturday Nov 22, 2014

9:30 AM to 03:00 PM

Parkrose High School

12003 NE Shaver St, Portland, OR 97220

For more details, click here.


Basics of Residential Solar Workshops
These free workshops cover the basics of why solar is a smart choice for Oregon homeowners, how well solar works in Oregon's climate, identify available solar technologies, how financial incentives may cover 70-80% of the cost, and discuss how to go about choosing a contractor. 
New and Renewing Professional Members 

Solar Oregon thanks our new and renewing professional members!


Solar Assist

Neil Kelly/ Mr. Sun Solar Portland     null
Abundant Solar Corvallis
Dynamic Power Innovations LLC McMinnville


 To learn more about professional membership click here.

Join Solar Oregon Today! 

Solar Oregon works hard to get solar built in Oregon. But we can't do our work without the support of people like you! For 35 years, we've been making solar happen with workshops, tours, technical support, trainings, education, outreach, research, and advocacy. But we've still got a long way yet to go until Oregon's clean energy future is secure.

We'd love to have you as a member -- please consider joining today!

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1231 NW Hoyt St. Suite 402
Portland, OR 97209