Business Oregon, a state economic development agency, has approved 15 utility-scale solar energy projects to enroll in the new Solar Development Incentive program.
Created in the 2016 Oregon legislative session, the program encourages development of 2 MW to 10 MW solar photovoltaic projects in Oregon by providing an incentive per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated. The agency says the utility-scale solar sector is nascent in Oregon; therefore, developers face higher costs by being the first to take on such projects in the state.
“Utility-scale solar is trending to be cost-competitive with traditional forms of energy generation very soon,” comments Jeff Bissonnette, executive director of the Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association. “Global markets have brought down the hard costs of components, and the Solar Development Incentive helps drive down soft costs by accelerating utility-scale project development and increasing installation efficiency in Oregon.”
According to Business Oregon, qualified projects in the program will receive a monthly payment of $0.005/kWh for up to five years. The program is capped at 150 MW worth of projects, but the 55 applications that Business Oregon received totaled 293 MW of solar energy capacity.
The 15 projects selected to date represent 116 MW of the total 150 MW capacity and are mostly located in central, southern, and eastern Oregon. The agency says additional award announcements from the application pool are forthcoming, but because this is a one-time enrollment incentive program that closed in January, Business Oregon is no longer accepting applications.
To date, the awardees include the following: Coronal Energy, with two projects totaling 20 MW; Cypress Creek Renewables LLC, with three projects totaling 23 MW; ET Solar, with three projects totaling 28 MW; NextEra Energy, with one 5 MW project; Obsidian Renewables LLC, with two projects totaling 18 MW; Pine Gate Renewables, with two projects totaling 11.9 MW; SolarCity, with one 8 MW project; and Sunthurst, with one 2 MW.
More information about the 15 selected projects is available here.