Deschutes Public Library Awarded $1,000,000 Grant for Construction of Solar Photovoltaic System at New Stevens Ranch Library


The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) recently awarded Deschutes Public Library a $1,000,000 grant for construction of a powerful solar photovoltaic (PV) system at the planned Stevens Ranch Library in east Bend. Deschutes Public Library is one of 39 recipients of ODOE’s Community Renewable Energy Grant Program funds, and one of only five entities that received the program’s largest grant of $1,000,000.

The new Stevens Ranch Library, which is designed to achieve LEED Gold standards, will include roughly 100,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space on 9.3 acres at the northeast corner of 27th Street and Wilderness Way in Bend. The ODOE grant will fund the construction of an 828kW net-metered solar PV system on the building’s roof and above portions of the parking area. Construction on the new Stevens Ranch Library will start in early 2024.

“This grant will go a long way toward ensuring the Stevens Ranch Library’s energy independence,” said C0mmunications and Development Manager Chantal Strobel. “It will be an all-electric building, and the solar PV system allows us to capture the sunlight needed to be self-sufficient in terms of energy. From overhead lights to public computers to a collaborative maker space, the energy we need to operate will be supplied by the sun.”

The Community Renewable Energy Grant Program supports planning and construction of renewable energy or energy resilience projects for Tribes, public entities, and consumer-owned utilities. Awards were chosen on a competitive basis with the help of a grant application evaluation committee that considered project feasibility and strength, equity considerations, cost savings, economic development, and other features.

“The Oregon Department of Energy is proud to support projects in Oregon communities that will bolster renewable energy and strengthen resilience in the event of an emergency,” said ODOE Director Janine Benner. “We were pleased to see the variety of proposed renewable energy and resilience projects in counties across the state—including solar, geothermal, biogas, and micro-hydro projects, as well as paired battery storage.”

In November 2020, Deschutes County voters supported a $195 million bond measure to construct, expand and improve libraries across the county. As laid out in the 2020 bond summary, bond funds are being used to build two new libraries: one in Redmond and one in Bend. Bond funds are also providing for the renovation of existing libraries in Downtown Bend, East Bend, La Pine, Sisters and Sunriver.

To learn more about progress on the building and remodeling projects funded by the 2020 bond, visit


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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