Five Oregon Projects Selected to Receive $10K Grants
Solar Oregon is part of the Northwest Solar Communities (NSC) which offered $10,000 mini-grants to non-profits and local governments in Washington and Oregon to increase the deployment of rooftop solar. Eligible projects include solarize bulk purchase campaigns or other innovative solar market expansion projects focused on increasing grid-tied solar electric systems within the applicant’s community, and may include residential, small commercial, agricultural or community scale systems. Projects must be ready to launch in 2014 and be completed by the end of March 2015. However, these mini-grants cannot be used for actual solar system acquisition or installation.
In April, Solar Oregon staff and board reviewed submitted applications for these NSC mini-grants. Applicants included local governments and community-based non-profit organizations in the state of Oregon. In our review, preference was given to projects that brought a solar campaign to a new geographic area or one that initiated a new model for increasing distributed solar electric systems.
Selection criteria and preference was given to projects that:
- Demonstrated a strong base of community support;
- Used a grassroots volunteer base to support or lead the project outreach;
- Included active involvement of the local jurisdiction, with a primary point of contact identified;
- Included participation and support of local utility; and
- Leveraged other funds to support the project.
To receive this funding, each mini-grant recipient is required to provide a list of deliverables associated with their program to Washington Department of Commerce, and also to attend Solar Now! University (SNU) in order to help prepare their team for a successful solar project launch. At SNU’s June 14th luncheon, to be held at Cornelius Pass Roadhouse in Hillsboro, the FIVE communities selected will be formally recognized by Solar Oregon and NWSC as a recipient of this award.
We are proud to announce the following winners of these five $10K mini-grants! They are:
- Who: Columbia Gorge Earth Center, DBA Gorge Owned (GO!)
- Where: Columbia Gorge (OR and WA)
- What: Will support the solarize campaign in Hood River, Wasco and Klickitat counties in both Washington and Oregon. The Columbia Gorge Earth Center (DBA “Gorge Owned” or GO! for short) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to help residents invest in a healthy environment, strong local economy and vibrant community as a way to build a healthy Columbia River Gorge.
- Who: Corvallis Environmental Center and Seeds for Sol, Inc.
- Where: Corvallis, OR
- What: This grant will help Corvallis Environmental Center and Seeds for Sol, Inc. implement their innovative financing for community solar program. The project will allow low-income homeowners to install solar power for their homes and allows other community members can invest in homes where solar is installed.
- Who: RHT Energy Solutions and Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG)
- Where: Jackson and Josephine Counties, OR
- What: Rogue Solar is a community-based project designed to help residents and businesses in Jackson and Josephine Counties in Oregon overcome the logistical and financial obstacles of going solar. This initiative is organized by RHT Energy Solutions and Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG) and is based on the highly effective model that has dramatically increased solar installations statewide.
- Who: Oregon Rural Action (ORA)
- Where: Malheur County, OR and the greater Snake River area (OR and ID)
- What: The ORA Solarize Snake River Valley program is in the Idaho Power service area, so this funding for will reach into Idaho. Solarize Snake River Valley! is a grassroots solarize effort being implemented by ORA and its members to overcome the financial and logistical hurdles of installing solar power in the rural communities spanning both sides of the river in Oregon and Idaho.
- Who: Lake County Resources Initiative
- Where: Lake County, Oregon
- What: This “Solar and Renewable Energy Outreach Program” will take the successful present model LCRI has used to develop the largest concentration of renewable energy sites in Oregon to community organizers, contractors, businessmen and homeowners on implementation of solar and renewable energy development. This program will train 6 communities including 90 community leaders in those communities on how to develop a local renewable energy economy. A major workshop tool in the classes will be the renewable energy demonstration trailer developed by LCRI and Solar Oregon for this use.