Solar energy industry in Oregon is growing

Experts say now is the time to get into solar power

A coalition of pro-solar businesses and government leaders want 10 times more solar energy power in Oregon in the next 10 years. April 14, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)
A coalition of pro-solar businesses and government leaders want 10 times more solar energy power in Oregon in the next 10 years. April 14, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Solar energy is Oregon’s most abundant renewable energy source and Portland ranks among the top solar cities.

On May 10, many of the top solar minds met in Portland to discuss Oregon’s energy future.

“The industry is getting stronger and there is a lot of interest in Oregon because of the renewable energy standard and the prices are coming down so Oregon is seen as a potential growth market and that is good for the business and Oregon,” Jeff Bissonnette with the Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association said.

It’s so good for business that the Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association is hoping to be a major part of the solar evolution in the state.

“We have laid out an ambitious road map for solar to be 10% of the energy mix in Oregon in 10 years,” Laurie Hutchinson with OSEIA said.

Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba was at the solar conference to help connect with solar minds for Milwaukie’s next big solar move.

“We distilled a vision and one piece of that vision is that we will be net zero by 2040 and that’s a pretty significant lift” Gamba said. “And more aggressive than what Portland is aiming for, and solar will be a big part of that if not all of it.”

Experts say now is the time to get into solar power if you’re thinking about it because it’s more affordable now.

“The enormous drop in the cost has made solar more cost effective in a way that I don’t think it has penetrated the public yet” Zoe Gamblehanes with Pine Gate Renewables said. “And it’s not just government subsidized and environmental driven agenda. It’s now an economic opportunity here for people to make something and make electricity and use energy that is here in the US.”