News updates from Solar Oregon
In a study covering existing and new houses sold between May of last year and April 30 of this year, the Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit group based in Portland, Ore., found that newly constructed homes with third-party certifications for sustainability and energy efficiency sold for 8 percent more on average than noncertified homes in the six-county Portland metropolitan area. Existing houses with certifications sold for 30 percent more. A study conducted two years ago by the institute in Seattle and Portland identified what may be another plus: Homes marketed with energy-efficiency certifications appear to sell faster on average than those without.
"Oregon Building Codes Division wins sixth annual Jeffrey A. Johnson Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Building Energy Codes"
Oregon has long been recognized as a national leader in energy efficiency. The Oregon energy code has consistently been one of the strongest in the nation, spearheaded for more than two decades by the Oregon Department of Energy. Two years ago official state support for the energy code moved to the Oregon Building Codes Division, which immediately began to aggressively pursue further improvements to the code. In 2009, a wide range of stakeholders were brought together in the state to create Senate Bill 79, which represents a path to continually improve energy efficiency. Under requirements in Senate Bill 79, the Building Codes Division administered the adoption of a 15% energy efficiency increase in Oregon's mandatory commercial energy code which was completed in 2010 and a 10% gain in the mandatory residential code which was completed in 2011.
Portland General Electric and the Oregon Department Transportation broke ground on a $10 million solar array at the Baldock Rest Area on Interstate 5 south of Wilsonville. The project comprises almost 7,000 panels spread over seven acres of land owned by ODOT behind the rest area. It will generate up to 1.97 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year -- about 9 percent of the electricity consumed by the agency in the utility's service territory. PGE hopes to flip the switch in January.
The City of Portland, Energy Trust of Oregon, Solar Oregon and Oregon Department of Energy are partnering to create a statewide campaign to deliver the Solar Now! education and outreach model to other communities around the State of Oregon. The objective is to encourage local municipalities and community leaders throughout the state to learn from and join the Solar Now! network.
After looking into alternative energy about three years ago, Farmer Don Christensen decided to diversify his crop and get into solar. By mid-October, his nine acres, and almost 12 nearby, will be hosting the largest ground-mounted solar arrays developed in Oregon to date. The two sites, located west of Amity, will create a combined 2.85 megawatts. That's enough to supply a city of 2,300, which is half again Amity's size.