News updates from Solar Oregon
An educational tour of innovative homes in the mid-Willamette Valley that have incorporated various green and solar designs and technologies.
CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Electric car-charging stations have been popping up all over Oregon. And now, a co-op that's striving to be a model of sustainable living is making waves in Corvallis. And to make the co-op even more environmentally friendly, solar panels provide some of their energy needs.
Oregon’s commercial solar business took off after state Legislators in 2007 increased the value of the state’s Business Energy Tax Credit from up to 35 percent of the cost of a renewable energy project to 50 percent. But faced with a crippling deficit, Legislators this year were forced to cut from non revenue-generating programs. The BETC program, which made available $300 million in tax incentives during the two year period that ended June 30, was turned into a grant program with just $3 million to split among all renewable energy technologies.
Chemeketa Community College in Salem is offering a FREE intro course that will prepare students for the NABCEP PV entry level exam.
Heat and solar energy go hand in hand. We've all seen installations that provide solar hot water and solar heating. But if we could come up with a sort of “combined-reversible solar-thermal” system that could provide airconditioning in the summer, heating in the winter, and hot water year-round, the circle would be complete. It's possible, and new solar-concentrating collectors and airconditioning technology are making this type of system technically and economically feasible.