Oregon Solar News

Clean Energy Incentives Left Behind by the Legislature


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.

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My Solar Story - John Patterson


In 1979 at the ripe young age of 30 I built a new home in Northwest Portland. I installed a solar water heating system in May 1980. Proudly standing next to my solar collectors, on May 18th I watched Mt. St. Helens erupt. I was a real estate broker, having just started my own company selling a condominium project misfortunately called “Ash Creek Park”. As the region was covered in ash, and with interest rates climbing to 19% nothing was selling and I had a big mortgage to pay. I called the solar company who’d installed my system and asked them if they could use a part time salesman. I told them I could sell anything I believed in.

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A Message about RETC



Most of you have heard that the legislative effort to extend the Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) or replace it with another residential solar incentive was not successful for 2017. While we negotiated a very good package that balanced the needs of the industry and solar customers with the needs of the state, one or two legislators felt that without a more stable revenue approach for the state, they could not support any tax credits, no matter how small (ours would have had a $2.7 million impact on the current budget).

We had terrific champions, we had great grassroots support (over 200 people make calls or sent e-mails on July 3 alone as we entered the final days of the session. All of that combined kept us alive all the way to the end.

But we still fell short and are now trying to determine next steps...

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Solar Workforce Diversity Study Benchmarks the Industry


A diverse workforce better reflects the perspective of its customers, fosters innovation and retains existing talent—all of which are key contributors to financial performance.

That’s why a first-of-its-kind report will be released later this year on career pathways and diversity in the solar workforce. As an initiative of the Solar Energy Industry Association’s Women’s Empowerment Committee and administered by The Solar Foundation, the study will establish a baseline on specific job responsibilities, salaries, and levels of leadership for women, minorities and veterans. It will compare the results to other industry sectors and identify best practices and areas for improvement.

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