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"Report: Oregon should get 10% of its power from solar"

Solar power advocates issued a rallying cry Monday with the release of a report by citizen-based nonprofit Environment Oregon, which found that rooftop solar could generate 10 percent of Oregon’s electricity use by 2025.

"Report: Oregon should get 10% of its power from solar"

Solar Oregon

By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
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Solar power advocates issued a rallying cry Monday with the release of a report by citizen-based nonprofit Environment Oregon, which found that rooftop solar could generate 10 percent of Oregon’s electricity use by 2025.

The report (available for viewing here) listed key recommendations to reach the 10 percent goal, and had support from at least one legislator — Oregon Rep. Jules Bailey, D-Portland — who announced plans to expand the state’s Clean Contracts system in the next legislative session.

Flanked by Bailey and by renewable energy advocates, Environment Oregon’s state director Sarah Higgenbotham said the state could feasibly develop almost 30 percent of its rooftop potential in the next 13 years, enough to power the homes in the city of Portland. She also noted solar farms on vacant land could bring another 10 percent of Oregon’s electricity supply, and that solar water-heating systems could reduce the state’s water heating needs by 6 percent.

Higginbotham laid out a series of polices Oregon should enact to accelerate solar development, including carving out a portion of the 25 percent renewable portfolio standard (the state is aiming for 25 percent of its energy output coming from renewable energy by 2025) and earmarking it specifically for solar energy, or by extending the state’s feed-in tariff program.

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