Oregon Legislature Passes Solar Policies


Following the recent passage of the state's Renewable Energy Standard (RES), Gov. Ted Kulongoski, D.-Ore., subsequently signed several solar policies designed to encourage solar manufacturing and the installation of solar hot water and photovoltaic (PV) systems in the state.

Oregon's RES, which requires 25% of the state's energy to be derived from renewables by 2025, includes a provision that extends funding for the Energy Trust of Oregon (ETO) until 2025. The ETO funds programs for both solar hot water and PV system installations, the governor's office says.

In addition, the Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit now applies to 50% of eligible project costs of up to $20 million. A tax exemption for solar net-metered systems passed as well, along with a statewide public buildings solar provision requiring 1.5% of the construction budget to fund onsite solar technologies.

According to the governor's office, Oregon – already ranked fifth in the U.S. for solar hot water systems and in the top 10 for PV – has a solar industry that is growing at over 30% annually.

‘This will be remembered as a banner year for solar energy in Oregon,’ says Kulongoski. ‘We have already attracted two new major solar manufacturers to the state, with more likely on the way."

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