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Founded in 1979, Solar Oregon is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit membership organization providing public education and community outreach to encourage Oregonians to choose solar energy.
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Solar Oregon at ASES Conference

Solar Oregon at ASES Conference

Solar Oregon at ASES Conference

Markus Stoffel at Maricopa Solar Facility

Every year the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) holds its National Conference at varying locations across the country. This year the conference returned to Phoenix, Arizona, where 50 years ago the first national solar energy conference was held. Solar Oregon, the statewide chapter of ASES, had a chance to attend this important event.

The conference lasted six days and offered numerous venues for presentations, panel discussions, training and an exhibit of solar vendors. On the first day there is also a chapter caucus, where leaders of ASES chapters from across the country had an opportunity to meet, learn from and exchange experience with each other.

Over 5000 people visited the conference including presenters from Solar Oregon.  Board members Doug Boleyn and Kacia Brockman, and Markus Stoffel gave panel presentations on Net Zero Energy building, solar marketing strategies and an overview of the successful solarize events in Oregon. Many other solar/building professionals from Oregon were participating in the conference.

Some of the highlights were the Conference Opening Plenary hosted by PBS News Hour correspondent Ray Suarez with Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute, Dennis Hayes of the Bullit Foundation, Cathy Zoi, from the US Department of Energy and Brad Albert, of Arizona Public Service. At the Awards Reception and Banquet, Larry Kazmerski from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, gave a very entertaining and interesting history tour of ASES over the past 50 years.

One of the options at the end of the conference was a visit to the newly installed Maricopa Solar facility. This 1.5 Megawatt power plant consist of 60 parabolic solar reflectors, which concentrate solar radiation onto a central sterling engine at each dish. Each unit is capable of producing 25 kW of electricity, at a high conversion rate of over 30%. It was an impressive site with technology made right here in America.

The 2010 National Solar Conference showed that the industry is strong and the interest even stronger. At a time of economic challenges and a major oil spill, the solar industry is clearly a bright spot.

Markus Stoffel
Executive Director
Solar Oregon



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