News: A new solar company could be coming to the metro area. Solexant has requested a $25 million loan from the Oregon Department of Energy’s state Energy Loan Program to finance a thin-film solar plant in the Gresham or Wilsonville area. The plant would eventually have the capacity the produce 400 megawatts of thin-film solar cells each year.
Bend’s Habitat for Humanity dedicated its 84th home May 8 to celebrate the organization’s 20th anniversary. The home, which was dedicated to Melissa Evans and her two daughters, was built with a solar energy system and is one of 12 homes constructed by the organization to have this feature. The home was built in Bend Habitat’s new community, Parkway Village, on Empire Boulevard and Boyd Acres Road.
Prompted by a February pledge to create a solar program for Beaverton residents, Mayor Denny Doyle this week will announce a partnership with a California business to offer discounted solar systems to about 50 homes, marking the first major initiative for the city's new sustainability program.
The Passive House concept is being actively implemented in Portland. The method’s popularity among builders and architects is rising as the industry seeks to accomplish ambitious goals to cut energy use.
More than 50 people gathered at Corvallis High School on Friday afternoon to celebrate the installation of a 2.3-kilowatt solar system on the school’s roof.
SolarWorld plans to hire 350 more workers, including soldiers returning from the Mideast, by Sept. 30 at its Hillsboro factories.
City planning commission tours three local projects; workshop set tonight
Solar Oregon selected a home built by Cellar Ridge Custom Homes of McMinnville to be on its Goal Net Zero Home Tour, according to owner John Mead. Zero energy use is possible by generating as much renewable energy on site as is used.
Fourteen Oregon wineries claim to be the first in the country to complete a carbon reduction program. The Vineyard growers believe climate change is real and that reducing carbon emissions will lead to temperature stabilization here in Oregon.
ln the summer of 2008, Tad Everhart decided to attend training at the Passive House Institute US in Urbana, Ill., to become certified as a passive-house consultant.
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.