By Tamara Staton, Thriving Solar - Clearly, in a market like ours wrought with uncertainty and fluctuation, there are multiple opportunities to communicate with legislators and do our best to influence solar legislation. For many business owners and solar players, this seems like a no-brainer, and the idea of calling legislators and asking others to do the same is akin to brushing their teeth twice a day. But for others, such a task may seem like a bigger undertaking, full of processes that seem foreign, awkward or futile, and wrought with the underlying question of how much to mix politics and business.
The intention of this article is not so much to advocate for the role of business in politics, but rather to highlight the value of advocacy not only for the industry as a whole, but for our individuals businesses and organizations within the spaceRead more
Medford School District 549C has released an invitation to bid for a 11.4 kW system. Deadline, 2:00pm March 20, 2018. Optional pre-bid meeting March 2 at 1:00pm. Full Medford School District Invitation to Bid.
With 80% of the US solar panel supply sourced from China, and the recent 30% tariff which many predict stands to hurt the solar industry, it's easy to imagine the high stress and tension you might be experiencing. It's often challenging to know what to do in these moments of high emotion, tough to know which decisions to make and how quickly. While it may be a great time to reduce stress through open dialogue, as addressed in the November issue of the Oregon Solar Review, it's likely a better time to focus on reducing your own stress and tension so you can think more clearly and make more solid decisions for the short and long term.
When stress is high and pressure is on, we're often inclined to dive into decision-making.Read more
Click here to ready January 2018 Oregon Solar Review
By Pete Danko, Portland Business Journal -- Utility solar took a big step forward in Oregon last fall when Avangrid Renewables' 56-megawatt Gala plant - more than five times the size of any previous project in the state - went online, sending power to Apple Inc.
Read the full story on PBJ.com: https://www.bizjournals.com/portland/news/2018/01/... or here in pdf form.
Click here to ready December 2017 Oregon Solar Review
Solar Plus stakeholders completed the first year of strategy development to build more solar energy generation in a way that maximizes the technical, social, and economic benefits. In December 2017, the Solar Plus Oregon group finalized strategies for the next two years. Partners will be working in 2018 towards implementing programs and developing projects to meet state goals and create a more sustainable and equitable solar industry.
The state-level goals developed by partners include an Equity Framework to guide the development of the state strategies. The state goals include a commitment to broaden access to solar energy to low-income households and communities of color, to engage with utilities and regulators on the complementary technologies that add value to solar deployment, and to increase the popular understanding of solar, including in the business community.Read more
OSEIA members, 2017 has come to a close and 2018 is about to begin! While we’ve had some challenges in 2017, there were many great things to be thankful for including very strong support from our members! We ended the year on a very positive note with respect to membership support which is essential to our continued efforts - your support is greatly appreciated as we need you more than ever!
We've all been in meetings that we wished would end before they even started. The air is heavy and the tone is dull. The information comes flying at us, with no room for input, questions or concerns. An agenda is missing, or lacking at best, with no flexibility to address what arises in the space. And there's certainly no laughter nor room for humor - a serious and focused leader at the front demands our silence and focused attention.
Is it possible to facilitate a meeting that people actually benefit from and enjoy?Read more
OSEIA has partnered with industry-recognized renewable-energy school Solar Energy International (SEI) that will include discounts on online coursework.
By Tamara Staton, Thriving Solar -- As we continue to ride the tumultuous solar coaster, many industry professionals naturally wonder what lurks around the corner in this ever-changing solar market. While we can't predict the future, there are things that we can do as business owners, executives, and managers to maintain control under circumstances that are mostly out of our control.
There is clearly great uncertainty with the sunset of the Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) in Oregon on December 31, 2017, not to mention the recent (and controversial) trade case - it's hard to know exactly how things will look in this market in just a few months....
OSEIA is currently working on a RETC replacement bill with a coalition of other efficiency advocates:
We're actively working on the Community Solar PUC process:
We're working with Utility Scale Developers on how we can improve land use and zoning issues to promote responsible solar development in OR.
OSEIA is working as a member of a Department of Energy Sunshot grant called Solar Plus. This grant is an initiative to convene solar stakeholders across Oregon and Washington to create strategies for increased solar deployment. We are specifically working with stakeholders to help facilitate the development of state level goals, advising on the process of developing a statewide solar plan for Washington, compiling data to inform goals and metrics, participating in technical working groups on valuation of grid assets and more.
Solar Plus envisions a future where the benefits of solar energy are equitably expanded to all including renters, households with low incomes, communities of color, and all ratepayers. Led by a broad coalition of stakeholders we are working towards tripling the amount of solar energy installed in Washington and Oregon by 2019. Find out more about this effort at: solarplusnw.org
By Charlie Coggeshall -- The past few weeks have brought some relatively encouraging updates regarding the implementation of the state’s community solar program. We can now confidently anticipate stakeholder engagement opportunities around key implementation aspects of the program over the next several months.
I am excited to take over as OSEIAs interim executive director and I look forward to engaging with you on upcoming initiatives, including 2018 legislation to fix the expiration of OR solar tax credits. Please know that we are as strong as ever and maintaining the momentum we've built over the past two years remains a high priority. I feel great about OSEIAs future for many reasons but a key one is that a main contributor to our momentum, the efforts of Craig Ernst and Meghan Craig, will continue delivering the excellent programs and events that OSEIA is becoming known for.
Please don't hesitate to reach out to myself or OSEIA staff if you have any questions.
OSEIA contracts interim Executive Director!Read more
Last week, The Solar Foundation released the 2017 U.S. Solar Industry Diversity Study, which is the first comprehensive examination of the workforce diversity of the U.S. solar energy industry. Findings show that racial diversity within the industry has remained relatively stagnant over recent years, and that all people of color, particularly women, are at risk of being left behind as the solar workforce continues its rapid growth trajectory. Of the major findings, only 8% of African American respondents reported that they have successfully moved up the career ladder, and 50% think they have not been successful in moving up in their careers and feel “stuck” in their current positions. Meanwhile, all women and people of color are less likely to earn top-tier wages than their white male peers. Learn more.
I’m the Program Director at Community Energy Project (CEP), where I’ve worked for over 11 years. My focus is on community education, low-income engagement, program development, and grassroots outreach. CEP provides DIY workshops on weatherization and lead poisoning prevention, as well as direct repair and weatherization services for low-income seniors and people with disabilities...It is because of this experience with the intersectionality of the low-income experience that we were approached to give feedback on SB 1547 “Coal to Clean” bill which included a sub-section on Community Solar – with a further sub-section on serving low-income communities. I’ll be honest, we had to be convinced. After all, what does solar have to do with low-income?
Oregon has always been seen as a leader in clean energy. Before “climate change” or even “clean energy” were commonplace terms, Oregon was helping individuals make clean energy investments. In the late 1970s, the legislature created the Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) to provide incentives to Oregonians to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy. In fact, the RETC was identified in the recently released Oregon Solar Plan as a key factor in getting solar to where it is today in Oregon. It also helped Oregon reduce its energy usage over the years.
You’d think that as we confront climate change and look to be a national leader in demonstrating the benefits of clean energy that making sure the RETC or some kind of clean energy incentive would be a legislative no-brainer.
You’d be wrong.Read more
Support the Oregon SolarPAC!!!
OSEIA has started a political action committee to increase our voice and influence with our decision makers in Salem. Your donation to the Oregon SolarPAC helps expand OSEIA’s capacity to develop a marketplace for the widespread adoption of solar energy in Oregon. More information>