While the world was saying goodbye to 2010 on New Year's Eve, many in the solar industry were gladly welcoming in 2011 -- a year that brings with it the extension of a federal renewable energy grant program for commercial solar projects, and a number of other helpful solar incentive programs.
FedEx got on the express track to environmental sustainability this week, both in the United States and abroad.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced it will contribute $8.5 million to the completion of four utility grid infrastructure projects in three different states. The funding is coming specifically from the DOE's Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems (SEGIS) program. Combined with private funds, the total $20 million in funding will aid utility companies incorporating solar energy into utility grids.
The completion of the largest rooftop solar installation in the Pacific Northwest was announced today. Situated atop seven separate warehouses in Portland, Gresham and Clackamas, Oregon, the project covers 673,000 square feet of roof space -- an area roughly equal to 14 football fields.
A little over a year ago, we reported that Oregon lawmakers were developing a pilot feed-in tariff program, following the passage of House Bill 3039. Now, countless meetings later, the Oregon Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has finally issued rules on the new initiative. Assuming you don't want to read the hundred or so pages of background and draft rules, we've set out to provide a quick overview of the most pressing questions.
The Portland Timbers of the United Soccer Leagues will become the newest Major league Soccer (MLS) franchise in 2011, but the organization has already made MLS and U.S. soccer history before ever heading in a corner kick or receiving a red card.
Intel Corp. today announced plans to install solar photovoltaic (PV) installations at eight U.S. locations in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Oregon. The computer chip maker also announced it will increase the amount of clean power it purchases in the form of renewable energy credits (RECs) to more than 1.4 billion kilowatt hours -- an amount equal to over half its 2010 electricity needs.
The state of Oregon has had a long-standing reputation for green-mindedness, so perhaps it was only a matter of time before news surfaced of its farmers employing renewable energy to power their crops. This Associated Press story from yesterday highlights the increasing frequency with which agriculturalists in the Beaver State have been tapping into clean technologies such as solar or hydroelectric power.
Speaking of feed-in tariffs (FITs), yesterday Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski signed into law a series of energy- and environment-related bills. Among them is House Bill 3039, which "directs the PUC [Public Utilities Commission] to develop a pilot program to integrate 25 megawatts of small scale solar energy into Oregon’s electricity mix using a feed-in tariff. The bill also requires 20 megawatts of large scale solar be integrated into utility loads." If all goes according to plan, the Oregon FIT program will be in place by April 1, 2010. This is potentially great news for solar in Oregon, as a feed-in tariff guarantees a premium price for the electricity generated by eligible renewable energy systems, like solar panels.