In January of 2011, Gold Dust embarked on the Solar Initiative with the goal to install six solar power generating stations on various facilities in the Merrill-Malin area. With the help of Obsidian Financial and the Oregon Feed-In Tariff program, in August of that year all six solar stations had been installed and hooked up to the power grid – or “green tagged” – by Pacific Power and Light.
Solar manufacturers including a unit of SolarWorld AG (SWV) are preparing a U.S. trade complaint against China, as they seek to counter low-cost, subsidized imports, according to people familiar with the matter.The case, which would be filed at the Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, would be one of the largest targeting China, with political implications as both nations race to develop clean- energy technologies. The companies say that China’s subsidies to solar companies violate global trade rules and provide those manufacturers with an unfair advantage, according to the people, who spoke yesterday on condition of anonymity because no complaint has yet been filed.
In keeping with the city of Gresham’s efforts to position itself as a leader in the solar industry, city councilors have approved plans to build a solar array at City Hall. Using $470,000 in federal stimulus grants and a $124,000 grant from Energy Trust of Oregon, the array will have the potential to deliver about 93,000 kWh (kilo watt hour) of electricity a year – electricity that will fuel Gresham City Hall at 1333 N.W. Eastman Parkway.
When people think of Portland, OR, a city that receives approximately 40 inches of rainfall a year, they're not likely to think of solar energy research. But that's exactly what's happening under the direction of Portland State University Chemistry Professor Carl Wamser, who is quick to point out that Oregon receives more annual sunlight than Germany or Japan, the two countries leading the world in solar energy production. Wamser's group, co-led by PSU's Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and Director of the Green Building Research Laboratory David Sailor and Assistant Professor in the Biology Department and Center for Life in Extreme Environments Todd Rosentiel, is looking into the effects of combining single-cell silicon photovoltaic (PV) solar panels with green roof technology. Wamser said that the idea came from other research he was doing to develop thin-film organic PV panels.
Azuray Technologies, an emerging leader in solar power optimization and monitoring, announced that it has been chosen by AlwaysOn as one of the GoingGreen Global 200 winners. Inclusion in the GoingGreen Global 200 signifies leadership amongst peers and game-changing products that are likely to disrupt existing markets and entrenched players. Azuray was specially selected by the global AlwaysOn editorial team and industry experts based on a set of five criteria: innovation, market potential, commercialization, stakeholder value, and media buzz.
Today the Economic Development Administration announced a $1.5 million grant to Portland State University, the city of Portland and the Oregon University System to help build the 130,000 square-foot Oregon Sustainability Center. The Sustainability Center is Portland’s grand “living building” project. It’s planned to blow green building standards out of the water with a triple net-zero rating: It would generate all its own power, release no carbon emissions and produce no waste.
The Oregon Department of Energy is seeking input on the new Energy Incentives Programs (formerly BETC), and Residential Energy Tax Credit program.
Solar Oregon Board Member Bruce Barney combines a PV system with an electric vehicle to get to Zero Net Energy for transportation.
Two new options that are shaking up Oregon’s solar industry and bringing solar power to a broader sector of people. Welcome to the new era of solar leasing and solar prepayments, which enable homeowners to reap the benefits of rooftop solar systems without owning the panels.
Portland City Council voted to revise some of the zoning regulations for rooftop solar energy systems that may have affected whether or not you could put solar photovoltaic or solar hot water panels on your home. These changes bring Portland into alignment with Oregon House Bill 3516, adopted a few months ago.
Green building has reached office buildings, airports, homes, churches -- and now, a gas station. In Beaverton, Ore., a redeveloped Chevron station opened today that touts a green roof, solar panels, geothermal power and bio-diesel fuel.
Data center operator BendBroadband Vault (www.bendbroadbandvault.com) announced on Friday it has recently opened 30,000 square-foot BendBroadband Vault in Central Oregon is substantiating its claims for extreme energy efficiency, slashing energy consumption by an estimated 600kW compared to standard data centers. The company partnered with Sunlight Solar and Advanced Energy PV Powered to create a truly sustainable facility, which opened in April.
One Block off the Grid, the San Francisco startup that offers Groupon-style discounts for solar panel installations, put together an infographic to debunk the commonly held belief that the renewable energy source only works in sunny states like California and Arizona. 1BOG offers evidence — and anecdotal quips — that even famously cloudy locales can become a leading solar city. For example, Portland has three times the number of residential solar installation as most cities.
Federal energy officials recently awarded Bend-based Advanced Energy Industries Solar Energy Business Unit $3.1 million and SolarWold of Hillsboro $4.6 million for their ongoing research to better integrate solar-power systems with utilities.
Senator Ron Wyden asked President Barack Obama to investigate imports of solar panels from China in a bid to help U.S. producers compete with a flood of imports. Without that support from Obama, the domestic U.S. industry may be put out of business by Chinese companies benefiting from unfair government subsidies. Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/09/08/bloomberg1376-LR7UZR6JTSE801-2G6P1TPRO4B6D5MUPL41O30LJA.DTL#ixzz1XTib9Oby
Solyndra's recent bankruptcy, on the heels of similar action by two other U.S.-based solar panel manufacturers, is seen as a major blow to U.S. efforts to become a leader in clean energy development. China now has three-fifths of the world's solar panel production capacity. What is more, Solyndra received $535 million in loan guarantees from the U.S. government. In the era of monumental government debt, critics cite this as a prime example of government waste; however, such a depiction would be a gross misrepresentation of the loan guarantee program. In fact, the federal government should accelerate its efforts and do more to develop and support clean energy and greater energy efficiencies.
Solar Oregon professional member, SolarCity, is undertaking the United States’s largest residential solar project, a $1 billion, 371-megawatt program to put 160,000 photovoltaic installations on privately owned military housing and other structures in 33 states. If built out, the five-year project, dubbed SolarStrong, would double the number of solar installations in the U.S. The project is being financed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and USRG Renewable Finance and underwritten with a partial $344 million federal loan guarantee.
Oregon is in the midst of a drastic shift in its solar strategy, only you wouldn't notice it based on recent news. The state in late August launched efforts on two big, highly visible projects -- one just off a major highway and the other across parts of its university system. But those projects were widely funded by money locked in long ago from the all-but-extinct Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC), which was essentially defunded during the state’s last biennium budget. The two projects launched in Oregon got in under the wire, but they may also serve another purpose. Their visibility could be seen as a daily reminder of the communal and economic power of large-scale solar. That, in turn, may help build public support once the next two-year budget begins to take shape.
U.S. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu came to Portland Wednesday and while he was in town to promote engineering education, he also got a chance to talk about what he sees as the next great space race: sustainability. A sense of urgency is needed now as the U.S. competes with the rest of the world — most notably China — for leadership in clean energy.