How Does Solar Fit Into Our Oregon Communities?
Solar energy, or solar photovoltaic (pv), systems quietly produce the cleanest electric energy on our planet. Solar pv systems have the least negative impact on our environment compared to any other energy source. Oregon’s communities benefit from solar energy in a few key ways; the electric grid benefits from solar energy, Oregon’s economy benefits from solar energy, and our environment benefits from solar energy.
Solar comes in a variety of forms and sizes as illustrated by the five solar markets Oregon currently supports - residential, commercial, utility scale, community solar, and solar + storage (S+S). Click below to learn more about each market.
The utility solar sector is critical for reaching economies of scale more quickly and are the least cost solar energy per kilowatt hour and are between 2 MW - 100s of MW.
Provides revenue opportunities to landowners on land that may not be as useful for farming
Municipalities and counties realize financial benefits through taxes
Dual use solar allows for farming and energy production on the same site
Cost reduction strategies are leveraged by the other sectors, reducing costs in all market sectors
Residential solar systems are installations at residential homesites, usually rooftop, sometimes ground mount and are between 3kW - 10kW in size.
Improving home value
Lowering monthly utility bills
Reducing carbon footprint
Energy independence, especially when paired with battery storage
Commercial solar systems are installations at commercial, business and industrial sites, usually rooftop, sometimes ground mount and are between 5kW - 2 MW in size.
Power operations with energy from the sun
Return on Investment (ROI)
Improve brand recognition and show commitment to a sustainable future
Employee pride and satisfaction
Community solar is a subset of utility solar that provides anyone with an electricity bill – residential or non-residential - an opportunity to share in the costs and benefits of solar generation when unable to access at home or work.
Enables more equitable access to solar generation and benefits
Leverages the economies of scale and more optimal locations
Ensures equitable opportunities for participation across customer types
Solar plus Storage (S+S)
(from ETO S+S board learning) A solar plus storage system is a hybrid system that combines PV and battery storage in the same location using shared electrical components and controls.
Provide bill savings benefits when paired together
Offers backup power when the grid goes down
Can contribute to a grid-connected or island-mode microgrid
Solar energy benefits Oregon’s communities by creating jobs in local communities. As Oregon’s solar deployment increases, the state’s solar industry expands, creating new jobs for electrical workers, material handlers, and technicians. And solar jobs are not limited to the installation sector—the industry supports jobs in a variety of fields, such as engineering and consulting, for example.