Oregon hopes to replicate Germany’s success with its own feed-in tariff, which would allow a maximum of 25 megawatts of small-scale (500 kilowatt-hours or less) solar photovoltaic projects to be reimbursed by participating utilities for the power they produce.
Three years ago, Ihab Elzeyadi, an associate professor at the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture, got so irritated by how badly green technology was integrated into existing buildings that he decided to do something about it. The result is an awning that generates and saves enough electricity that buildings using it could potentially have zero net energy consumption. The aluminum awning holds photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into electricity, which is then used throughout the building. A reflective light shelf on the awning redirects daylight into the building, further reducing electricity needs; LED lighting underneath the awning provides nighttime illumination. A prototype was attached to a UO building last summer, and data from it shows the awning could pay for itself after five years. Elzeyadi hopes to commercialize the awning within two years. “This could become the future of bricks and mortars,” he says.
The federal government plans to reduce its carbon footprint by installing solar panels at its Medford interagency compound, a move that could save some $6,000 annually in its power bill. In addition, it is upgrading solar power installations for two historic sites off the power grid in the lower Rogue River's wild and scenic section.
City OKs system, which will provide some of site's power. The 1,280 solar panels scheduled to be mounted on the roof of the center will aid in the center's marketability in addition to increasing efficiency and reducing energy costs, said Rick Scott, the director of Salem's Urban Development Department.
Larry Lohrman didn't imagine his quest for some energy from the sun would launch a green movement within his homeowners' association. But nine months later, he not only has gotten the association to write architectural guidelines for solar panel installation, he's also formed a community group called Sustainable Creekside. CC&Rs cover everything from what the roof can be made of to how high a resident's grass can grow. Turns out that a 1979 state law prohibits property owners from banning use of solar panels on property.
A variety of energy efficiency projects are slated for installation in Enterprise and Joseph with the support of the Oregon Department of Energy’s State Energy Program. “Wallowa County is in the lead by a large degree in the renewable energy field,” said Louis Perry of LD Perry Inc. of Joseph. Joseph and Enterprise high schools and the Joseph Fire Department received three of the six solar project grants awarded by the state.
Forty-four-year-old Corvallis resident Jonathan Carroll is living the low-impact lifestyle. His south-facing home has solar panels for generating electricity, a solar hot water system and a raised bed garden.
In the last few years, energy producers and conservation groups have eyed big, flat roofs as fertile ground to produce energy, or improve the local environment. Sailor has a three-year federal grant to look questions like what makes the most efficient mix of roof colors. Portland city officials aren’t waiting for that. They’re developing a tax credit that might be worth up to $2,500 for combined green-and-black roofs.
Facilities manager Bill George was the main force behind La Salle Catholic College Preparatory’s solar panels, the latest project of its kind to hit Portland area schools. The black, thin-film panels could save the school about $10,000 to $15,000 in energy costs when the school purchases the system.
"My kids are grown, and I never thought I'd buy another home, but I'm doing it to get a solar, eco-friendly home," Barasa says. It's an affordable housing project of the Rogue Valley Community Development Corporation, helping low-income renters get into low-interest mortgages backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development — something owners can do by performing 70 percent of the home-building work, about 1,500 hours.
Above Southern Oregon University's campus in Ashland lies an eclectic neighborhood that clings to the side of a foothill, serving up awesome views of the southern Cascade Mountains. Fred Gant had been eyeing a parcel in the area for some time. A former builder specializing in solar design, Fred thought the cottage on the lot would be a good rental investment. He purchased the lot in 1999, outfitted the cottage with solar and found his first tenants, all the while searching for the perfect place to build his own home.
Thanks to funding from two sources, four Wallowa County entities will have solar power soon.
Cutting-edge Laundromat’s new machines and solar panels put it a step ahead of the competition
One of the most interesting features of the Hauler is the solar panel that doubles as a roof over the cargo bin. Blake says the solar panel is the same size used by NGO’s to power businesses, schools, and hospitals in developing countries. It was designed to easily detach from the vehicle to be put to use in building “ad-hoc, off-grid power solutions.”
COOS BAY, Ore. - A local non-profit is testing out a new program, that it hopes will help two low income households cut down on energy costs, by supplying them with solar water heaters.
A bill passed during the Oregon Legislature’s recent special session requires prevailing wage to be paid for private solar projects on public property. Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed House Bill 3651 into law last week.
Salem held its first Green Awards on Saturday honoring 10 businesses and residents for their efforts in sustainability. The fundraiser highlighted efforts in four categories: Recycler of the Year, Business of the Year, Green Building of the Year and EarthWise Business of the Year. Friends of Straub Environmental Learning Center, Marion County Environmental Services and Garten Services selected the 10 winners from a list of 27 nominees
Five local renewable energy and education proposals have reached the finalist stage for consideration of two Eugene Water & Electric Board Greenpower grants of up to $100,000 each.