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Founded in 1979, Solar Oregon is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit membership organization providing public education and community outreach to encourage Oregonians to choose solar energy.
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Annual member meeting recap

Annual member meeting recap

Claire Carlson, Solar Oregon Executive Director, addresses the attendees

By Solar Oregon Board President Ron "Mac" McDowell

Thanks to everyone who came to the November 17th Annual Member Meeting to help celebrate our 33rd year. It was a jammed-packed agenda. Executive Director Claire Carlson presided and presented the organization’s accomplishments and highlights of this year’s activities. We also recognized the 2012 Solar Oregon Award nominees, thanked our staff, elected five new board members, and learned about microgrids thanks to Cameron Coleman of InSpec Energy Solutions.

There was much to talk about and celebrate. It was evident that we strengthened our membership and our influence in the region. In the past three months we’ve added almost 50 new individual members and our outreach activity and social media presence has never been more effective. The Solar Oregon Awards, plus other successful programs and events, have helped solidify our brand.  Our objective to work with K-12 teachers to implement a renewable energy education program is now taking shape thanks to a NIKE grant and the hiring of Morgan Mulkey, our new Curriculum Specialist.

Imogen and Emily recognized our volunteers and Solar Ambassadors and many award nominees were in attendance. Solar Oregon would not be as successful without the help of these volunteers. Whether they assist in the office, curriculum committees, or outreach activities such as tabling events, our volunteers really make Solar Oregon's presence known throughout the state.

Our meeting was interrupted by a bomb scare at the venue (Portland’s World Trade Center) and we lost time standing in the rain waiting to be let back into the building. However, solar people are a resilient lot so we moved to another part of the building and carried on about our business. Due to this interruption, our featured speaker and presentation was reduced to just a few minutes on the topic Solar and The Smart Grid: Where we are headed. Here is an abstract of what was to be presented:

 As the solar PV industry has developed over the last 20 years, we have been required to adapt our technology to an antiquated grid that allows us to deliver energy only when the grid is balanced. With new technology, solar is becoming an integrated solution to some of the problems of the old grid. Our speaker will be discussing where we are as an industry, and where we are headed, by looking at demonstration projects that give us a glimpse of the future of Solar in the Smart Grid.

This is a great topic deserving of our undivided attention, so we invited Cameron Coleman to attend an upcoming Solar Drinks to do this full presentation.  Please stay tuned for future announcement.

A Solar Oregon Board of Directors meeting immediately followed the member’s portion of the agenda and presiding Board President Ron “Mac” McDowell welcomed five newly-elected members to the board. They are: Todd Gregory, Gordy Molitor, Corey Omey, Scott Piscitello and Alan Scott. Three current board members up for renewal were also re-elected to new terms and board officers were re-elected to serve for another year. Congratulations to new and renewing board members. Now it is time to go to work!


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