Oregon Solar News

First Hearings Held for RETC and Property Tax Exemption Extension

We’ve been talking about extending the Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) and the property tax exemption for a long time. But yesterday (Wednesday, March 29) we had the first hearing to start the process.

For an hour and a half, solar installers, energy efficiency advocates, labor representatives and economic development workers told the members of the Oregon House Energy and Environment Committee about the benefits of the RETC and the property tax exemption (but mostly RETC) – for consumers, for businesses and for Oregon.

Read more

New 1.02 MW Project in Portland City Limits

In mid-March, Imagine Energy at last completed one of the largest solar installations Portland has yet seen: 1.02 MW on the Montgomery Park commercial complex. The 1920 building, formerly a Montgomery Ward mail-order catalog warehouse, was acquired in the 1980’s and fully renovated into what is now the second largest office building in Oregon. Since then its owner, Bill Naito Co., has transformed the historic building through a host of upgrades and retrofits into one of the most sustainable commercial buildings in the United States. Its latest addition, the 1.02 MW solar array, will produce more than 30% of the buildings' energy needs and likely increase its already impressive current Energy Star Rating of 95 to 98, indicating energy efficiency greater than 98% of US commercial buildings.

Read more

OSEIA 2017 Bill Tracker

Track 2017 Bills Important to OSEIA:

HB 2681 - RETC: Residential Energy Tax Credit Extension

HB 3050 - Relating to solar photovoltaic power generation facilities

HB 2760 - Extends sunset for property tax exemption for alternative energy systems

Thriving Company Culture through the Eyes of a PV Installer

This article is part of an ongoing series of interviews for my exclusive column on Thriving Culture. The intention of this series is to give you, as a reader, a sense of where and how culture is thriving in the solar industry, and how you might begin to strengthen company culture in your own company or place of business. I conducted this interview with Anthoney Robinson, PV Installer and Energy Consultant at Elemental Energy, which currently employs 15 solar team members with 2 solar install teams.

Tamara: How would you describe your path to becoming an installer at Elemental Energy?

Anthoney: I was in the Marine Corps right after high school. I didn't particularly enjoy that too much, but I did learn that I like manual labor. I can't sit behind a desk – it’s something that I just can't wrap my head around...

Read more

Another 115MW Coming to Oregon

New Oregon Solar Energy Development Program Enrolls First Round of Projects. The 15 projects selected to date represent 116MW of the total 150MW capacity.

Read more

Solar Trade Group Releases Blueprint for Oregon’s Solar Future

Oregon’s electricity could be 10 percent solar by 2027 by installing enough solar capacity to power 500,000 homes.

The Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association (OSEIA), Oregon’s solar trade association, today released its Oregon Solar Plan, which outlines a blueprint for the next 10 years of the state’s energy future. The plan, a collaboration between OSEIA and Lewis and Clark Law School’s Green Energy Institute, finds that solar can provide 10 percent of Oregon’s electricity needs by 2027 by installing enough solar capacity to power the equivalent of 500,000 Oregon homes.

Read more

RETC Update- 3.17.17

A quick update on the RETC; Oregon’s Residential Energy Tax Credit —> a great program driving solar in Oregon for many years!

  1. The RETC program is scheduled to sunset on December 31, 2017
  2. OSEIA is pushing for a 6 year extension of the RETC
  3. It has been assigned a bill number: HB2681
  4. You can track some of the details here.

Generations Credit Union Offers Financing for Solar in Oregon

Hello, Oregon Solar Installers!

My name's Bill Paulen, and I am the President and CEO of Generations Credit Union. It's my pleasure to introduce our financial institution to you. I met many of you at the recent 2017 OSEIA member meeting, and many more at the 2016 ASES/Intersolar conference in San Francisco. That was easily my favorite conference of the last several years... Way more fun checking out cutting edge solar equipment and listening to solar presentations than sitting through days of financial institution regulatory compliance topics.

Several years ago, Washington installations skyrocketed when competitive solar financing became available, and Generations is proud to have been a part of that. Our mission now is to make the experience of borrowing for a solar PV system as easy as getting a car loan. We’ve deployed state of the art mobile loan application tools that allow borrowers to apply from their cell phones in less than 5 minutes. We will equip your salespeople with tools to allow them to concentrate on selling solar PV systems, not trying to wade through the financing process. And we will keep you, the leaders of this effort, informed of our progress as we work together to provide a frictionless, EASY process for consumers to invest in solar...

Read more

Policy Update- 2.28.17

We're nearly four weeks into Oregon's legislative session and, while it's still too early to read the tea leaves, prospects look hopeful for OSEIA's major policy priorities this session. The House Environment and Natural Resources Committee tentatively scheduled a mid-March hearing for two OSEIA priorities—extending the Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) and extending the property tax exemption for solar. To prepare, OSEIA's executive director, Jeff Bissonnette, spent part of last week in Salem. He heard good feedback in a round of lobby meetings with legislative leadership and with every member of the environment committee.

Read more

Oregon Solar Review - February 2017

Read more

My Solar Story - Lori Bokovoy

My path to the solar industry was kind of a long courtship: Unsure of what I wanted to do, I kept looking into solar every few years until I eventually decided to take the plunge and go for a solar career.

My first exposure to solar was a solar engineering class I took at Portland State University in 2006 as part of my master’s degree in mechanical engineering. I loved the class and wanted to take another, but this was the only solar class they offered. I graduated from PSU later that year and didn’t think much about solar until 2009, when I decided to take John Patterson’s Solar Installer Series class.
Read more

Oregon’s Solar Industry Hosts Largest Member Meeting Ever

Over 100 attendees representing over 55 businesses display the vibrancy of this industry. This year OSEIA is telling a different story than they have told in the past. Solar is growing in Oregon, and growing quickly. The industry has never been as cohesive as it is today. “I was completely stunned,” noted Craig Ernst, OSEIA’s development director. “We have never seen this type of participation. We had over 11 folks running for 5 open board seats. I barely recognized half of the attendees. We are onto something!”

Read more

​OSEIA 2017 Board of Director Candidates

There are 11 people who have declared their desire to run for the board and whose eligibility has been confirmed for the upcoming 2017 board election. Incumbent board members running for re-election are designated by an (i).

  • Nick Armstrong - SolarCity (i)
  • Kaitlin Borstelmann - CED Greentech (i)
  • Jason Carr - Cypress Creek Renewables
  • Casey Dilloway - A&R Solar
  • Eric Hansen - TrueSouth Solar (i)
  • Zach Kissel - Auric Solar
  • Suzanne Leta Liou - Sunpower
  • Evan Ramsey - Bonneville Environmental Foundation
  • James Reismiller - Abundant Solar
  • Jerry Samaniego - Solar Energy Design
  • Sarah Wilder - SolarWorld

Voting will be at the OSEIA Member Meeting on February 24. Anyone who is not able to attend on Feb. 24 should contact Jeff Bissonnette at jeff [at] oseia.org to get and submit an early ballot. Click Read More below for candidate bios.

Read more

My Solar Story - Jeff Bissonnette

I have a book on my office bookshelf called the “Alternative Energy Sourcebook 1991.” It’s a catalog of sorts from the Real Goods Trading Corporation that offers solar modules and any number of micro-hydro and other renewable systems. So I’ve had a long-standing interest in solar and renewable energy.

I keep it around to remind myself how far we’ve come in terms of the technology and the capacity to serve as a real energy resource. I didn’t get a chance to actually work on renewable energy until I came back to Oregon in 1998 to work for the Citizens’ Utility Board of Oregon (CUB). CUB represents residential ratepayers and while most consumer advocates are just focused on energy as a pocketbook issue, CUB also looks at energy from the perspective of Oregonians’ values. Oregonians care where their energy comes from, they want to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy, they want clean up our energy grid.

Read more

Jeff's First Anniversary

It’s Been a Year Already?

February 1, 2016 was a busy day for me. It was my first day working for OSEIA, I had a board meeting, it was the first day of the 2016 legislative session and for the first time in over 17 years, I was the new guy.

Read more

Oregon Solar Review - January 2017

Click here to read January 2017 Oregon Solar Review

Thriving Company Culture through the Eyes of an Office Manager

This article is part of an ongoing series of interviews for my exclusive column on Thriving Culture. The intention of this series is to give you, as a reader, a sense of where and how culture is thriving in the solar industry, and how you might begin to strengthen company culture in your own company or place of business. I conducted this interview with Kelli Wolford, Office Manager at Synchro Solar, which currently employs 10 solar team members with 2 solar install teams.

Read more

Oregon's utility-scale solar incentive brings flood of projects

Projects totaling 291 megawatts have applied for the state’s new Solar Development Incentive Program — but only 150 megawatts will get in.

Read more

Real Rapid Shutdown for Rooftop Solar

Why homeowners need technology that delivers more than code compliance

by Tefford Reed -- Every three years brings a revision to the National Electrical Code, a benchmark for electrical safety in the US. One by one, the states interpret those changes to help local permitting authorities decide whether a rooftop solar project meets safety standards. Technology designed to code is likely to require costly and time-consuming upgrades as code changes. A modular, low-voltage technology, like the Enphase Microinverter System, inherently satisfies code requirements year after year.

Read more

My Solar Story - Shaun Franks

My solar story started at Southern Oregon University (SOU) in 2010. I went back to school because I had recently become a father and wanted to set a good example for my son. I was a business major but began taking environmental studies classes. The classes focused on environmental problems, which are daunting, but I wanted to come up solutions. I decided to minor in environmental studies, focusing when possible on courses in corporate sustainability. The Summer of 2011, I had the opportunity to study renewable energy in Germany. Although the course was less than a month long, the impacts had a lasting effect on my education and engagement on campus.

Read more

A Message From Abby Hopper, President & CEO of SEIA

My name is Abigail Ross Hopper, and if you haven't heard, I just officially started as SEIA's new President & CEO. It's only been a few days, but I am already so excited to be a part of such a great organization and an incredible industry.

To better introduce myself, I recorded a short video. Take a look:

Sign up to push solar in 2017!

With a $1.5 billion state budget shortfall, and solar incentives to protect, we'll need all the help we can in the Oregon legislature this year. The session starts in less than two weeks! If you’ve been wondering, “how can I help grow solar in Oregon?”, then please volunteer for the following:

1.Mark your calendars for Solar Lobby Day in Oregon's Capitol, Monday, April 17th. Join us for a day in Oregon’s capitol. No experience is necessary and we need every member of Oregon’s solar community to join us if they can.

2.Join OSEIA's Online Solar Rapid Response Team. We'll need at least 100 solar pros and supporters to spend less than five minutes weekly responding to our calls for help from the legislature. Can you send an email or "like" a facebook page? Then we need YOU for our Solar Army.

We’ve currently less than a dozen volunteers out of 100+ we’ll need for each. So please sign up now.

Oregon SolarPAC's First Year a Big Success

Thanks to generous contributions from OSEIA members and solar supporters, Oregon SolarPAC raised $9,845 ahead of the 2017 election--and spent nearly all of it exactly as we'd planned: in support of key candidates for the Oregon State Legislature.

We held meetings and made campaign contributions to Oregon's Governor, Kate Brown and 14 legislative candidates, all of whom won their 2017 elections and are now serving in Salem. Several OSEIA members joined in our candidate meetings, where we discussed issues crucial to Oregon's solar industry: Renewing the Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC), creating a RETC for community solar, preserving the solar property tax exemption, and ensuring the Oregon's new large scale solar incentive will work as planned.

Read more

Congrats to an Exemplary Member, North Coast Electric

OSEIA wanted to take a minute to thank North Coast Electric for their tremendous leadership and support for Oregon’s Solar Industry. Over the past few years we have seen the industry grow and with it North Coast Electric’s participation is outstanding.

The OSEIA members spoke for the industry in February 2016 through electing Kendra to yet another term as a board member. Additionally, the OSEIA Board of Directors made it clear who they wanted to lead us by voting in Kendra as our Vice President!

OSEIA’s technical training program is a huge part of our mission to support the solar industry, not only in Oregon but throughout the Pacific Northwest. North Coast Electric’s participation in hosting these trainings throughout locations in Oregon and Washington has been invaluable to us; we are excited to expand and continue this relationship in 2017.

The Oregon Solar Energy Conference is OSEIA’s biggest fundraising, training and networking event. We have grown from 171 attendees in 2014 to over 400 attendees in 2016. North Coast Electric’s support at the Presenting Sponsor level in 2016 was another testament to your commitment to our success.

Read more

Oregon Solar Review - December 2016

Click here to read December 2016 Oregon Solar Review

How Oregon Became Top 10 US Solar State

From PBJ - In Oregon, developers installed 84 megawatts of solar in Oregon from July through September 2016, sending the state from 25th to ninth in the nation, according to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Read more

Solar Financing - Generations Credit Union

Hello, Oregon Solar Installers!

My name’s Bill Paulen, and I am the President and CEO of Generations Credit Union, based in Olympia, Washington. It’s my pleasure to introduce myself and our financial institution to you today. For some of you, this will be a re-introduction, as we met at the ASES SOLAR 2016/Intersolar North America conference this year in San Francisco - easily my favorite conference and trade show of the last several years. Way more fun wandering through 3 stories of cutting edge solar equipment and attending solar presentations than sitting through days of financial institution regulatory compliance talk. So for all of you whom I met a few months ago, nice to “talk” to you again. For everyone else: here’s what Generations is all about…

Read more

Solar Financing - Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union (PSCCU)

At Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union (PSCCU), our members are not only part owners of this financial cooperative, but they also play a role in environmental sustainability, financial security for others, and job creation. We empower our members to do more than they thought they could with their banking relationship.

We have a great respect and commitment for our combined social, economic and environmental convictions and have built, and will continue to build our financial cooperative around these ideals.

Read more

My Solar Story - Brion Wickstrom

I started my solar career in 2004 at Mr. Sun Solar. I had been interested in solar for a long time and was intrigued by the energy independence it had to offer.

I was working random jobs while pursuing the inside electrical apprenticeship program. On the way to my job at the time, as a mover, I drove by Mr. Sun’s office every day. One day without thinking about it I turned my head in the direction of the Mr Sun office and not even sure what Mr. Sun meant, I decided to stop the van and go inside.

I ended up starting my first day of work with Mr. Sun about two weeks later. I showed up for my first day at what was known as the “old shop”, I think it’s now the old old old shop. I was excited to work my first day in solar! I spent the next six months of my solar career replacing a sidewalk, remodeling a bathroom at an apartment connected to the shop and fixing up John’s (Mr. Sun’s owner) house.

Read more

OSEIA Membership Dues

At the December 9th board meeting the OSEIA board approved dues for 2017.

Read more

Show more posts

Ready to advance your career in Oregon’s solar industry?
Ready to advance your career in Oregon’s solar industry?

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>