Solar Power

Pamela Edwards • 1 January 2021

Want to take climate action with Solar power? 

Check out these links and resources--thanks to Ken Barker.

  1. Existing Rules and Policies Promoting Renewable Energy:
  1. Resources

3. Business, Residential & Individual Investment in Solar:

i. Put solar panels on your building

  • Must have sufficient solar exposure on south facing roof ( minimal shade).
  • Your roof needs to be structurally strong enough to withstand weight of solar panels (Most buildings built after 1995 have enough structural strength
  • Possible Financial assistance:  Federal tax credit of  30% up through 2022;  Oregon rebate max. $5,000
  • Resource assistance (referral to contractors and financial assistance: Energy Trust of Oregon https://www.energytrust.org/;  Solar Oregon  http://solaroregon.org/ 

ii. Subscribe to Community Solar

Buy your energy from an existing solar array:

  • Oregon senate bill 1547  (Jan. 2020) is what started community solar.   Any Electric rate payer in Portland General
  • Electric and Pacific Power can invest in community solar (rate payer discounts of 5% normal rate payers; ~ 20% for low income)

iii. Private Community Solar arrays (available for general public to buy into):

iv. Public Utility Community Solar arrays (available for general public to buy into):

Encourage/Promote Community solar arrays to be installed on roof tops (especially large buildings) and utility easements to minimize converting natural/agricultural lands that act as carbon sinks to large solar array farms.

v. Invest in Community Solar

Crowdfunding specific projects

http://oregoncleanpower.coop/individuals/  (Minimal investment $1,000) Investments allow solar installation on non-profits (e.g. churches, low income housing)

vi. Individual action regarding Solar on Your Home

Put up lawn signs saying your Home is powered by solar-saving you $$$; Your Home  is Net Zero energy.

  1. Business, Residential & Individual investment in Solar and Energy Efficiency

Obtain free energy audit by Energy Trust of Oregon https://www.energytrust.org/ (additional resource:  Greenhousegas.org )

  1. Find recommendations and possible financing, credits and rebates
  2. Determine whether replacing your lights with LED is cost effective
  3. Determine whether adding insulation in your Ceiling, Floors and Walls is cost effective
  4. Determine whether replacing your windows with double pane windows is cost effective
  5. Determine whether replacing your appliances, furnace, water heater, etc.  is cost effective
  6. Get into Action to make your home more energy efficient

5. Schools and Government Buildings investment in Solar and Energy Efficiency

Funding sources for Schools: 

  1. Help Enhance City and County Building Codes

Submit public comments regarding building codes that promote: 

  • Each new buildings’ code should encourage buildings to be constructed with Net-zero energy use to promote buildings which create as much energy as they consume over year. 
  • Lighting should be highly efficient lighting such as Light Emitting Diodes (LED) (or Halogen Incandescent Lights, Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) if more efficient). 
  • Skylights should be installed to let in natural light.
  • Adequate insulation should be installed in ALL walls (>=R-40), floors (>=R-38) and ceilings (>=R-60) to minimize need to heat and cool.
  • Roofs need to be structurally strong to be able to hold solar panels or green roofs.
  • Energy smart meters should be installed to encourage energy use reduction and use of energy during low demand times.
  • ALL appliances should be energy and water efficient.

Other ideas? Share them in the chat.