Oregon Solar News

Energy Trust Solar Trade Ally Summit Seeks to Build Resilient Solar Businesses


By Pamela Cargill - The business of solar installation is evolving again like it did in 2008 during the economic shakeup that launched third-party ownership, and before that in 2007 when polysilicon prices created module shortages. Each time, the industry catapulted from the strife with new business models and technologies. Installers who survived these upsets emerged more resilient than ever before.

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How to Get Ready for the Future


By Michael Rogerson

Andrew Beebe of Obvious Ventures recently went on record saying, “We believe stored electricity, increasingly derived from renewable sources, will entirely replace fossil fuels as the preferred method to power everything in our lives.” LINK

We couldn’t agree more. We know that sunlight can power our homes but the sun doesn’t always shine when we need power. The solution, until now, has been to rely on the grid but with storage, homeowners can now increase their self-consumption of solar. This can help homeowners to lower their electricity bills and to provide power even when the grid goes down.

Are you ready for this storage-based future? SolarEdge can get you StorEdge-ready with a few tips.

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Effective Grounding: Oregon's New Frontier


By: Emily Hwang, Senior Applications Engineer

Oregon’s two largest utilities, Pacific Power and Portland General Electric, which jointly provide 70% of the state’s electricity, started requiring a majority of three-phase commercial photovoltaic (PV) installations to include effective grounding. They are joining a handful of U.S. utilities that already require it. Why is this number growing? With the increase of PV generation on the grid, utilities are growing more concerned about the risk of temporary overvoltage (TOV) possibilities on their lines. A distribution system that is not effectively grounded is significantly more susceptible to harm from TOV than a system that is. Significant TOV can cause great damage to distribution systems and connected equipment, both utility and customer owned, while presenting potential hazards to persons near their lines. Effective grounding uses impedance grounding to limit the fault current while allowing a limited and safer amount of overvoltage.

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RETC SB 1507 Rulemaking and Solar Thermal Meeting


NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING Residential Energy Tax Credit Advisory Committee

Oregon Department of Energy

625 Marion Street NE

Salem, OR 97301

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

2:00 p.m.

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Squaring the Circle: How to Check Visually if your Layout Meets the Maximum Allowable Design Voltage Drop


by: Foad Alvandi, P.E., Senior Design Engineer

One important constraint of PV solar design is maximum allowable voltage drop for both DC and AC circuits. These limits, which are often given in percentage points, are usually dictated by the energy model used for the project, or are based on best industry practices and are among crucial design requirements as they represent a cap on lost energy in the category of resistive losses.

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Oregon Passes Bill To Cut Coal Purchases, Double Renewable Energy by 2040


By Julia Pyper

March 4, 2016 - (From GTM) - A diverse group of stakeholders in Oregon are

hailing the passage of SB 1547 (https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2016R1 /Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB1547), a bold piece of legislation that doubles the state’s renewable energy target to 50 percent by 2040. It also requires utilities to quit purchasing coal power by 2035, making Oregon the first state to end coal use through legislative action.

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Western States Federal Lobby Day - April 21 in Washington, D.C.


SEIA invites you to roll up your sleeves and join us in Washington, D.C., for a power-packed federal lobby day on Capitol Hill. This day will be focused on putting you in the room with federal lawmakers who represent you and your state: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

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Policy Update 3/18/16


This policy update will provide a wrap-up of the legislative session, how those legislative issues will be addressed and will also touch on a solar task force process underway at the Bonneville Power Administration.

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Landmark Legislation Coming to Oregon


BOTH SB 1547 (the Clean Electricity/Coal Transition Plan) AND HB 4037 (the Solar Incentive Program) passed the Oregon Senate. SB 1547 was approved on a vote of 17-12 and HB 4037 passed on a vote of 22-6.

Thank you to everyone in the solar industry who visited the capitol, made phone calls and sent e-mails. It really did make a big difference.

There is now a lot of work ahead to make sure these policies achieve the potential they hold. You'll be hearing a lot about that in the coming months.

Know that you helped create big opportunities for the solar industry.

I'll have more details and analysis soon but wanted folks to have the news right away.

Go Solar!

Jeff@oseia


The State of the Association


Last Friday, February 26, OSEIA held its Annual Member Meeting in Portland. Eighty people attended and received updates on happenings with OSEIA and the broader landscape impacting the solar industry.

Some of the broader issues discussed will be covered in another article, here we will take a quick look at the state of OSEIA. Board President Paul Israel noted that with the hiring of a new executive director, OSEIA has, in the words of a business publication, added “policy muscle.” OSEIA’s new director, Jeff Bissonnette, started on February 1 and has already made sure OSEIA is deeply involved in the short session of the Oregon legislative session.

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Policy Update, 03-01-2016


The legislature has entered into the final week of the 2016 short session. Solar and renewable energy bills are still making headway. As this newsletter goes to press (can you say that about an online publication?), the Oregon House just passed SB 1547, which has become the vehicle for the Clean Electricity/Coal Transition Plan (formerly HB 4036). The bill will now go back to the Senate for concurrence and hopefully final passage so that it can go to the Governor for her signature.

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Oregon Solar Industry Can Lead a Clean Energy Future


OSEIA Executive Director, Jeff Bissonnette, gave a speech at the Annual Member Meeting about some of his observations about the solar industry as he concludes his first month on the job. The following article is adapted from that talk.

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Apply Now: 2016 Top Solar Contractors


It is time again for Solar Power World’s Top Solar Contractors application. Surveys like this allow the Oregon solar industry to place itself on the map and be more visible to vendors and investors. It allows contractors to differentiate themselves both locally and nationally showing their value to customers. Also, they invite the “Top Solar Contractors” to a fancy party at SPI every year.

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Importance of Project Management


In so many areas of our lives, we use project management without even realizing it. Whether it's going through your morning routine at home or building a megawatt-scale solar installation, we all use project management everyday.

When it comes to solar energy installations, every project, large or small, requires some knowledge and expertise to complete. Initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, and closing every project requires the project manager to stay diligent in order to get things done in a timely and efficient manner.

Effective project management can push a project to the fullest of its potential and creates work that surpasses the wildest of expectations. On the other hand, poor project management can stall productivity, stifle creativity, or kill a project entirely. Hope is not a strategy and nor should it be the strategy used by your contractor when installing solar for your home or business.

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SolarWorld to supply 10.5 megawatts of solar panels for system in south-central Oregon


HILLSBORO, Ore., Jan. 14, 2015 – SolarWorld, the largest U.S. crystalline silicon solar manufacturer for more than 40 years, will supply 10.5 megawatts (DC) of 72-cell solar panels to power a project located near Lakeview, Oregon, in the state’s south-central high-desert outback.

Working with project developer Obsidian Renewables, SolarWorld will provide solar technology to go into an 8 MW (AC) project that is expected to produce about 20.8 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year – enough to power more than 1,800 homes.

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OSEIA Recognizes a New Era in Solar Energy


The Oregon Solar Industries Association recently recognized John Patterson for a lifetime of service to the Solar Industry with an Apogee Award at their annual member meeting on Feb 26th. OSEIA’s Apogee Award honors leaders in our solar community who have shown exceptional creativity, dedication, and success in working with industry stakeholders to expand the adoption of solar energy in Oregon.

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Solar 4R Schools: ​Adding Community & Educational Value to PV System Projects


Since 2002, BEF’s Solar 4R Schools program continues to provide award-winning renewable energy STEM education. As solar energy development expands, we aim to turn every solar installation into an interactive educational tool, building a nation of energy literate citizens who understand the science and benefits of renewable energy and inspiring the next generation of clean energy leaders.

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The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2015 Finds that U.S. Solar Workforce Grew by More Than 20% for the Third Consecutive Year


The Solar Foundation (TSF), an independent nonprofit solar research and education organization, today released its sixth annual National Solar Jobs Census. The new Census 2015 found that the U.S. solar industry employed 208,859 Americans in 2015, a figure that includes the addition of 35,052 solar workers over the previous year, representing 20.2 percent growth in solar industry employment in the 12 months preceding November 2015. Solar employment grew nearly 12 times faster than the national employment growth rate of 1.7 percent during the same period.

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Oregon Department of Energy Announces $1.5 Million for Renewable Energy Projects Across the State


The Oregon Department of Energy today announced 13 recipients of nearly $1.5 Million in Renewable Energy Development grant funds. The RED grant program supports Oregon businesses, nonprofits, and organizations investing in renewable energy systems that use biomass, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, wind, landfill gas, biogas, wave, tidal, or ocean energy to produce electricity.

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U.S. Solar Market Sets New Record, Installing 7.3 GW of Solar PV in 2015


In yet another record-breaking year, the solar industry in the United States installed 7,286 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics (PV) in 2015. GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) announced the historic figures today ahead of the March 9 release of the U.S. Solar Market Insight report.

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Something New Under the Portland Sun


MIT Spinoff Mapdwell launches first website for all Portlanders to discover their solar potential, explore their options and connect with local installers, making solar exciting and simple.

Mapdwell®, the leader in urban solar mapping, launched Solar System™ Portland Metro, the most advanced online rooftop-solar tool available. Solar System provides detailed and accurate information to over 2.2 million Portlanders, helping businesses and home-owners visualize their solar opportunity and take action.

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Preparing for Disaster Resiliency


Have you heard about the anticipated Magnitude 9 subduction zone earthquake, known as “The Cascadia Event”?The resulting earthquakes and tsunamis are predicted in the next 50 years threatening fuel and energy supply. The regional fuel supply (The Hub) in Northeast Portland is vulnerable to earthquake-induced liquefaction and landslides. Extended outages of the bulk electric grid and critical shortages of fuel are anticipated.

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

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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>

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