(OSSIA holds another successful solar training | Photo courtesy of OSSIA)
Less than a week left to register for the Oregon Solar + Storage Conference
Why should you attend this year?… First off, it will be an illuminating conference. Second…goat yoga is back!
- Career fair (Tuesday, November 7th)
- Loads of fun networking opportunities
- Business Development
- Energy Storage
- Panel discussions with top people in the field
- Continuing Education
- Energy Trust of Oregon programs.
- What’s new for Oregon Solar, grants, programs, codes
- Utility Scale PV and Energy Storage – Wednesday, November 8th
- Policy and Regulatory – Wednesday, November 8th and Thursday, November 9th
- and so much more…
Net Metering Attack
Finally Comes to Oregon
In state after state, utilities have won battles to weaken net metering, and the fight has finally come to Oregon.
The issue is starting with Idaho Power ratepayers in Oregon, in the Ontario area. Idaho Power is changing net metering (NEM) in their Idaho territory and is asking the Oregon PUC to allow them to change the program for their Oregon customers. They are proposing to cut the NEM credit rate for customers in half for non-summer months while doubling the credit for 3-5 peak hours per day in the summer. They are also proposing to apply these changes to solar customers that purchased their system after 2019, going back on a promise made to customers. The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) will need to make a decision by January 1, 2024.
At the same time, PGE is starting conversations with stakeholders to weaken NEM. PGE is also proposing to drastically cut customers’ export credit rates, only leaving existing rates for customers wealthy enough to also purchase storage. They plan to make their proposal public by the end of the year.
A roll back of NEM would have devastating impacts on Oregon’s solar industry. California has already seen job cuts after their program was weakened and demand for rooftop solar is down 40 percent.
At a time when solar finally has incentives to increase access to low- and moderate-income customers, this is exactly the wrong time to roll back net metering. In addition, the utilities need behind-the-meter solar to meet their clean energy requirements.
Stay tuned for more details and for how you can get involved.
OSSIA is Hiring a Project Manager!
Are you passionate about climate and equity? Are you hyper-detail oriented? Are you ready to work with Oregon communities to bring about change? Oregon Solar + Storage Industries Association (OSSIA) and the Oregon Solar Energy Education Fund (OSEEF) are hiring a Project Manager to manage our workforce development programs.
The solar industry provides good paying jobs but is 90% white and 80% male; OSSIA/OSEEF seek to change that through our work. OSSIA is seeking a dynamic and detail-oriented Project Manager with strong relationship building skills who has connections and experience working with communities of color.
The core of the position is to project manage OSSIA/OSEEF’s various programs and funding streams in order to expand the solar workforce in an equitable way that builds value for communities and the industry.
As a strong candidate you will get excited about tracking details, be able to multi-task and manage projects from initial budgeting, to project timelines, to final invoicing. You will have a passion for advancing gender and racial equity and climate justice.
Join our dynamic team to make a difference together in our world, locally and globally.
Full job description and how to apply at orssia.org.
OSSIA Holds Another Successful Solar Training
We did it again! On October 17-19, 2023, OSSIA coordinated a PCEF-funded 2.5-day solar installation training attended by 20 pre-apprentices from Portland’s pre-apprenticeship trades training programs (Oregon Tradeswomen, Constructing Hope and their trades summercamp, Portland Youth Builders, and Portland Opportunity Industrial Center.) Thank you to Abe Fouhy, Instructor and Coordinator of the Renewable Energy Program at Clackamas Community College for hosting us.
Special thanks to Remote Energy’s Carol Weis who supported some of the highest achievers in the solar industry to step into instruction. Thank you to Nolan Cook (Sunlight Solar), John Harley (National Solar), Gerry Jones (Gerry Energy), and Sara Pavey (ProStat) who are doing a service to the solar energy industry by teaching the next generation.
Updated Oregon Solar Dashboard Shows Decades of Solar Growth
Over the past few decades, solar-generated electricity in Oregon has blossomed from a few scattered rooftop projects in the 1980s to dozens of large utility-scale solar facilities today. The Oregon Department of Energy’s interactive Solar Dashboard has been updated to show Oregon’s solar growth from 1986 to 2022.
The dashboard also shows the dramatic decrease in the cost of residential solar systems – from an average $16.53 per watt in 1999 to just $3.66 in 2021. It also illustrates annual generation in each Oregon county, the ten largest projects in the state, utility-specific solar data, and much more.
The dashboard includes rooftop solar projects that were supported by ODOE’s Solar + Storage Rebate Program. The program can help Oregonians invest in renewable solar energy at home, with rebates of up to $5,000 for a solar electric system and up to $2,500 off a paired energy storage system. Oregonians with low or moderate incomes are eligible for higher rebate amounts. Organizations that provide services to low-income Oregonians are also eligible for rebates of up to $30,000 for solar and up to $15,000 for paired battery storage.
ODOE first published the solar dashboard in 2019 after working with regional utility, solar industry, and community partners to quantify trends in the energy sector and make data available to stakeholders in user-friendly formats. The original work was made possible in part through a federal grant provided by the U.S. Department of Energy; known regionally as Solar Plus, the project included partners in Oregon and Washington working together on strategies related to community solar, grid resilience, and energy planning.