Support Development of Solar Power in Oregon

Please call or email your Oregon State Senator and Representative and tell them why you feel strongly about reducing climate pollution and transitioning to clean solar energy.

There are several bills that will help bring Oregon clean solar energy:

HB 2447 – Residential Solar:  The Oregon Department of Energy has asked for an extension to the Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) so this program can continue to support residential solar beyond its 2016 sunset.

HB 2941 – Community Solar Gardens:  this bill is modeled on legislation that opened opportunities for shared-ownership solar projects in Colorado, and has been successfully replicated in other states. Subscribers to Solar Gardens receive their benefit through a bill credit that offsets their own energy usage.

Success of a Solar Gardens program in PGE and Pacific Power territory will depend on also passing HB 2745 to extend the solar pilot program.

HB 2745 – Commercial/Community Solar:  An extension and expansion of the solar pilot program. The current solar pilot winds down this May. An extension of the program is critical for continued installation of solar in the commercial market and for community-based solar systems.

HB 2632 – Utility Solar: This bill calls for a pennies per kWh incentive for utility-scale solar projects in Oregon. Bill would benefit in further driving down the cost of solar in Oregon and providing a rapid addition of solar to Oregon’s energy mix. Putting solar onto the grid kicks imported coal off the grid.

You can see the full bill descriptions at Oregonians for Renewable Energy Progress (OREP’s recent eNews archive).

Please call or email your Oregon State Senator and Representative and ask them to support HB 2447, HB 2491, HB 2745 and HB 2632.

Use the following taliking points in your email or phone call:

  • Oregon gets only 0.02% of its energy from solar, compared to cloudy Germany which gets over 6% of its energy directly from the sun
  • The current Solar Pilot Program has proved to be a great tool for commercial scale solar, driving down the cost of commercial scale projects – we need the extension to continue to support commercial projects and drive the cost of rooftop solar down further
  • Many Oregonians cannot put solar on their own roofs but want to participate in sharing the costs and benefits of community solar installations – they will be able to do this through community solar gardens and solar cooperatives
  • The current Solar Pilot Program has proved to be a great tool for installing community projects, accounting for  about 2/3 of all the solar on schools and universities in the state projects – we need the extension to provide support for Solar Energy Cooperatives (which were enabled in 2014 legislation by SB1520 and are just getting underway)
  • Ordinary people investing in community solar brings new, low-cost capital to the renewable energy sector, creates jobs, and re-circulates Oregon energy dollars in the Oregon economy.  It is a win-win-win for us all!