Oregon Solar News

OSEIA Launches Online Training Opportunities

In partnership with HeatSpring, OSEIA is pleased to announce our online training offerings.

More information here.

OSEIA Hires Executive Director - Jeff Bissonnette

Long-Time Clean Energy Advocate Joins Solar Trade Group
Effective February 1, 2016, Jeff Bissonnette joins OSEIA as Executive Director

Portland, OR - Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association (OSEIA) is proud to announce Jeff Bissonnette as their new Executive Director. This is an exciting time for the solar industry and Jeff Bissonnette comes to OSEIA after more than 17 years with Citizens' Utility Board of Oregon (CUB), the state's residential utility ratepayer advocate organization.

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Solar PV Projects in Nepal

Hats off to OSEIA Member Sunbridge Solar for giving back. Check out how Sunbridge gives back.

Oregon Solar Review - January 2016

Click here to read January 2016 Oregon Solar Review

Community Solar in Oregon

by Charlie Coggeshall & Rikki Seguin

As reported in OSEIA’s November 2015 newsletter, the Oregon Public Utilities Commission (PUC) submitted formal recommendations to the legislature regarding “Attributes for the Design of a Community Solar Program” at the end of October. OSEIA was engaged in the PUC process which led to those recommendations, of which we are generally supportive of the outcome, though with some suggested revisions.

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OSEIA Hires New Program Coordinator

Meghan will be working on our development and training programs and providing increased outreach to the industry. Meghan has nine years of community organizing, public outreach and climate change education. As a consultant, she is currently serving as a Project Manager for Green Building Services developing an Intro to Sustainability college level curriculum. Prior to becoming a consultant, she managed Solarize Washington campaigns and provided feasibility evaluation of renewable energy projects at Northwest SEED in Seattle. In the past, Meghan served as an Interpretive Park Ranger and Climate Change Educator at the North Cascades National Park in Stehekin, WA. Meghan holds a B.S. in Marketing and International Business from Penn State and a Masters in Public and International Affairs, Environmental Policy from Virginia Tech. For her commitment to public service and social justice, Meghan received the Government and International Affairs Founding Faculty Award for demonstrating the ideals of community engagement, public service, and social justice. Meghan also received a prestigious fellowship (C2C-Campus-to-Congress) from the Bard Center for Environmental Policy for emerging leaders in climate change.

Oregon Set to Pass Historic RPS

Oregon utilities endorse bill to end coal use by 2030, boost RPS to 50% by 2040

  • After weeks of negotiations, Oregon utilities have agreed to back a bill that would phase out coal-fired generation by 2030 and boost the state's renewable energy standards to 50% by 2040, Oregon Public Broadcasting reports.
  • The legislation applies to two of the investor-owned utilities in Oregon — Portland General Electric (PGE) and Pacific Power — which together account for about 70% of electricity delivered in the state. Consumer-owned power companies, public utilities and Idaho Power, the remaining IOU in the state, would not be affected, according to a summary of the bill provided to Utility Dive.
  • The proposed bill also maintains a 4% incremental cost cap, which means utilities do not have to add renewable energy to their portfolios if the incremental cost is more than 4% higher than the cost of developing non-renewable energy.
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OSEIA Professional Training Announced!

We are offering two February trainings in Portland, REGISTER NOW! Stay tuned for more trainings across the state.

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Energy Trust program ups the solar ante

Energy Trust is ready to start doling out its 2016 solar project incentives for utility customers.

The energy efficiency nonprofit has $10 million in incentives for solar projects for residential and commercial customers of Portland General Electric and Pacific Power. Read more here.

The projects will be available for customers of both PGE and Pacific Power.

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Oregon's coal bill gets endorsements as Salem prepares for 2016 session

Two prominent environmental bodies have put out studies supporting legislation that cancels out coal in Oregon and doubles the state's renewable energy portfolio.

The studies from Renewable Northwest and the Oregon Global Warming Commission focus on different aspects of the Oregon Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan. The groups say the measure will cut electric emissions n half while not significantly increasing rates.

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Solar Jobs in Oregon: Get in Early

PORTLAND, Ore. - The job's report remains "sunny" for Oregon's solar energy sector. According to the National Solar Jobs Census of 2015, produced by the Solar Foundation, the industry added workers 12-times faster than the jobs growth rate for the whole U.S. economy last year.

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Mapdwell expanding coverage to Portland

Energy Trust of Oregon is pleased to announce that Mapdwell will be expanding the coverage of its online rooftop-solar mapping tool to include the City of Portland, in addition to the currently available map of Washington County. Mapdwell Solar System is a free, online tool that helps residential and commercial customers estimate the solar potential of their rooftops based on modeling and weather simulation data. This expansion will add an additional 450,000 homes and businesses to the map, and identify gigawatts of additional rooftop solar potential in the region.

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Increasing Solar Adoption Through Technology

by Philippe Gregoire
As proud advocates of solar energy, we all desire a higher penetration of the technology in the energy mix of our society. In order to achieve this goal, one must look at different aspects of a solar system to increase its attractiveness. Over the past years, technology and policy improvements have helped make the solar industry safer and more cost effective. Although some advancements are more significant than others (e.g. the ITC extension), it is the sum of all these developments that help shape our industry to become a more compelling energy source. In this article, I would like to focus on one technology improvement that is not only changing the residential market, but also expanding to other sectors— the integration of power optimizers into modules.

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​Grid Reliability: Mitigating Risks and Maximizing Solar Benefits

by Michael O'brien

Tuesday, January 19 saw a packed Main Hearing Room and a full suite of Oregon Public Utility Commissioners listen intently to out-of-state experts discuss the reliability impacts of solar. The running theme was the ability for smart inverters to mitigate risks and maximize benefits so that solar contributes to grid reliability.

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Environment Oregon's Solar Cities Campaign

For the past few months, Environment Oregon has been running "Solar Cities" campaigns in five cities - Ashland, Corvallis, Eugene, Lake Oswego, and Milwaukie - and has been partnering with OSEIA members to make the campaigns successful. I want to share some highlights about the progress of the initiatives and the essential role that OSEIA members play in lending grassroots pressure to these efforts.

The goals of the city campaigns are twofold - First, to make cities solar leaders. This happens when cities set solar installation targets and provide educational opportunities and city-brokered discounts to residents. Second, to build up the political support needed to pass strong statewide clean energy policies.

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Less Coal! More Renewable Energy!

by Jeff Bissonnette

Oregonians can agree on a lot of stuff whether it’s good beer and wine or getting outside to enjoy a mountain or a beach. Two other things: we hate coal and we love renewable energy.

A group called Renew Oregon was formed recently to harness that enthusiasm to help Oregon chart a course to a comprehensive policy to address climate change. As part of that agenda, groups involved in the effort identified a key step that needed to be taken before comprehensive climate policy could be adopted. We needed to significantly reduce coal in our energy mix and make sure it was replaced largely with clean energy, like efficiency and renewable resources.

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It's Great To Be Here!

by Jeff Bissonnette

Greetings solar professionals, solar business owners and solar advocates (and most of you are all three)! I am very excited to be writing to you as OSEIA's next executive director.

I come to the solar industry as a long-time ally. The last 17-plus years of my work life have been spent as a consumer advocate with the Citizens' Utility Board of Oregon, the state's ratepayer advocacy organization. In that role, I've been very involved in promoting progressive energy policy - helping to create and defend the Energy Trust of Oregon that provides critical incentives and support to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy (including solar); working with OSEIA to create the state's Renewable Energy Standard and the mandate for public construction projects to dedicate 1.5% of project budgets to including solar; to making sure that the state's Residential Energy Tax Credit worked for customers to install right-sized solar arrays.

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Energy Trust: Solar 2015 year in review, 2016 preview

Congratulations to the Oregon solar industry for closing out another record-breaking year. With the recent five-year extension of the Investment Tax Credit, we expect more record breaking years in the future.

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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>