For the past six months I’ve volunteered my time to support the Solarize Southwest Portland program and because of volunteers like me these programs have far exceeded expectations. In Portland we’re still crunching the numbers, but if current trending holds, we’ll be adding about 1 Megawatt of clean and renewable energy to our neighborhoods by the end of this year. This amount of residential solar electric installation has never before been seen in the Pac Northwest for existing homes. This clearly shows the level of interest and demand for solar energy here in Oregon.
All of the good work we’ve done to support clean energy in our neighborhoods is now in jeopardy due to the recent action taken by ODOE on the RETC. Perhaps they didn’t consider the impact and negative consequences of this action on my neighbors who are in the midst of purchasing and installing solar electric on their residences. Changing the RETC rules in the middle of this program, without notice, explanation, or recourse, has caused a great deal of consternation and I’m being told that many of my neighbors will cancel their install as they simply cannot afford the out of pocket cost as a result of this ODOE action.
I assume this result was unintended, but it is a reality nonetheless.
If enough people make this decision it will have a major trickle-down negative effect on the resources we’ve put in place to support our plan to install hundreds of solar panels on neighborhood rooftops this summer and fall. The emergency ruling is a direct threat to the JOB CREATION that has resulted from these Solarize projects. It will also have a negative impact on the local economy because cancellations will hurt downstream local producers of equipment such as solar modules, inverters, etc… who have been hiring in Hillsboro and Bend Oregon in order to support this increased demand.
The last thing we need in Oregon right now is to add to the current unemployment condition due to this “emergency ruling” from ODOE.
posted 2 years, 10 months ago
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