January 2015 Newsletter
Thank you to our newsletter sponsor

In This Issue:
Advocates, Industry Unite in Salem to Boost Solar
New Solar Oregon Board Members
Solar Drinks: Join us at The Joinery on February 4th
GO! Solar in the Gorge
Solar Shout Outs!
Upcoming Events
Solar Ready Toolkit
Professional Member Recognition
Join Solar Oregon
Advocates, Industry Unite in Salem to Boost Solar

On January 14, Solar Oregon's Executive
2015 looks like a good year for solar at the Oregon state legislature.
2015 looks like a good year for solar at the Oregon state legislature.

Director Evan Manvel joined more than a dozen solar advocates and industry representatives in Salem to explain the benefits of solar power to state legislators, their aides, and other key staff and decision-makers.

The event, coordinated by the Solar Works for Oregon coalition and the Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association (OSEIA), was a chance for decision-makers to see examples of current solar panels and solar water heating systems and learn about how solar means business in Oregon. It aimed to lay the groundwork for passing legislation to promote 
more solar jobs in the state.
SolarWorlds Kevin Keene with Secretary of State Kate Brown.
SolarWorld's Kevin Keene with 
Secretary of State Kate Brown.

Legislators were enthusiastic about solar, and we heard of some representatives who have solar installed on their homes, businesses, or boats!

There are at least five proposals under consideration by legislators, including the Oregon Department of Energy's bill to extend the Residential Energy Tax Credit (HB 2632), an effort to equalize the treatment of solar water heating and solar electric, a proposal to support utility-scale solar projects (HB 2447), an effort to boost community solar, and an effort to support businesses who want to install commercial solar.
Group shot of several of the advocates.
Group shot of several of the solar advocates.

t here.

Solar Oregon will keep you posted when we have all the bill numbers and when public hearings are scheduled. For now, take the time to make sure you're signed up on your legislators' e-mail newsletter lists so you can attend local town halls and make the case for supporting solar.

Representatives from OSEIA, Solar World, Neil Kelly/Mr. Sun Solar, Synchro Solar, EA, SunModo, Obsidian Renewables, PGE, and Christensen Electric attended, as did people from Solar Oregon, Environment Oregon, the Sierra Club, Oregonians for Renewable Energy Progress, and the City of Portland.
Solar Oregon Welcomes New Board Members

Last month we introduced you to two new Solar Oregon Board Members, Jim Walls and Claire Carlson. This month, we're pleased to introduce Andy Noel.

Andy Noel has been active in the renewable energy field in Oregon since 2002. He has managed regional Portland offices for national solar companies, while developing hundreds of solar projects in the residential, commercial, and utility scale markets in the Northwest. Andy understands the importance of the regional policy frameworks needed to run a successful solar business in both the financing and construction aspects of the solar marketplace, while also understanding the challenges solar business owners have in sustaining themselves. 

He has previously been an active Board member for Oregon Solar Energy Industries Associations, and provided policy input to various programs such as the Solar Payment Option (FIT) and a community solar program concept. Andy lives in SE Portland with his wife and two sons.  He currently works for SunEdison. 
Solar Drinks Logo
Join us at The Joinery on February 4th!

Our 2015 Solar Drinks events kick-off Wednesday, February 4th at the Joinery in SE Portland. Solar Drinks is an opportunity for folks in the greater Portland area to meet other community members who support renewable energy. Come join us for a relaxed social and networking event where you can speak with Solar Oregon staff, solar industry members, and your neighbors about any topic under the sun!

Our February event will be held at The Joinery's Woodstock Showroom and Shop in SE Portland. The Joinery designs and handcrafts beautiful hardwood furniture for residential and commercial spaces. Using traditional woodworking techniques and hardwoods from sustainable forest resources, each piece of Joinery furniture is wholly built, and proudly signed, by an individual builder in its Portland, Oregon woodshop. They will be offering tours of the Woodstock Shop to Solar Drinks attendees until 6.00 pm!

Our featured guest speaker for this Solar Drinks is Stephanie Ryan. Stephanie is the Senior Associate in Community Development for B Lab, the non-profit behind B Corp certification and Benefit Corporation legislation. She believes the emerging sector of private companies for public benefit is a key leverage point for today's economic and social challenges. Her background includes over twenty-five years of consulting focused on cultivating organizational learning. Come learn more about the growing global movement of business as a force for good!

GO! Solar in the Gorge Gorge Owned GO! Solar logo.png

GO! Solar is a Gorge-wide, community-based solarize initiative with the mission of increasing the number of residential solar electricity systems in Hood River, Wasco, and Klickitat counties. By partnering with local contractors and suppliers, they are making solar installation easy and at an unbeatable price! On top of state, federal and local incentives, GO! Solar reduces total project cost by up to 20%!

Click here to learn more about registering for GO! Solar and attending their kick-off event/Basics of Solar Workshop in Gorge on February 3rd.
Solar Shout Outs!

In the largest study of its kind to date, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory "found that home buyers consistently have been willing to pay more for homes with host-owned PV - averaging about $4 per watt of PV installed - across various states, housing and PV markets, and home types. This equates to a premium of about $15,000 for a typical 3.6kW sized PV system." Read the report here or sign up for an upcoming webinar on January 22nd to learn more.

"Right now, buying an average-sized, fully-financed solar PV system costs less than electricity from their local utility for 93 percent of single-family homeowners in America's 50 largest cities, and in most places, is a better investment than many of the stocks that are in their 401(k)."

According to a report the Solar Foundationemployment in the solar industry in the U.S. has nearly doubled since 2010, climbing from 93,000 jobs to 173,807. In 2014 the U.S. solar industry grew by 22 percent!

In a recent Oregon poll, "renewable energy is viewed very favorably across the political spectrum, including Oregon Republicans and Independents... Across the board, 78 percent of voters said that government incentives to adopt more renewable energy will indeed create more jobs in the state."

"It's possible that 2015 will be the first year in which over half of new electricity generation capacity in the U.S. will come from solar. It's also likely that the industry will start to solve its intermittency issue, installing energy storage in a growing percentage of homes that decide to go solar. Both would be big milestones for the industry."
Upcoming Solar Events

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. 
Solar Ready Toolkit

In case you missed it, Northwest Solar Communities recently released their Solar Ready Toolkit, a set of templates and information to support jurisdictions, utilities, and installers in lowering solar soft costs. Toolkit elements include:
  • Permitting: Tools for Building Departments, Code Officials, Inspectors
  • Interconnection: Tools for Utility Engineers, Regulators
  • Financing: Tools for Solar Installers, Consumers
  • Planning & Zoning: Tools for Planners
Additional tools and templates will be added in 2015. You can access the current Solar Ready Toolkit HERE.
New and Renewing Professional Members 

Solar Oregon thanks our new and renewing professional members!



  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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