Commercial Solar


The Basics

What is it: Commercial solar systems are installations at commercial, business and industrial sites, usually on roof tops, sometimes ground mounted. These systems are interconnected into the grid and net-metered on your electricity bill.

The workforce: Oregon has approx 4,000 people in solar workforce of those ___ work in the Residential Solar space. Learn more about Solar Jobs.

Project size and location: These systems are 5kW - 2 MW in size. Currently Oregon has ________ commercial solar systems totaling _____ MW. ODOE’s Solar Dashboard displays installations over time.

How does Commercial Solar fit into your community?

Solar Energy for businesses can be a cost-effective, practical, and effective method of reducing energy costs and an organization’s environmental footprint. The benefit of solar energy is justified purely on financial terms for most businesses, whilst for others, it may be a combination of financial, environmental, marketing, and carbon footprint reduction that determine the investment decision. Powering operations from the sun comes with many advantages.

Financial Benefits: Return on Investment (ROI)

Financial returns and lower monthly utility bills are major incentives for going solar. The exact savings you will see with solar depends on the following: 

Government Incentives

The current federal solar investment tax credit (ITC), allows businesses who install a solar system a 30% tax credit on the cost of the system through the end of 2019. Whether you install a $100K system or a $1M system, there is no cap on the amount a company can claim as a credit, learn more.

Accelerated Depreciation

Businesses may take accelerated five (5) year depreciation on the cost of the system under the federal Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System’s (“MACRS”), learn more.

Hedge Against Rising Utility Rates

Solar power can help insulate a business from volatility in the power markets. By investing in solar power, businesses can insulate themselves from these increases by producing their own renewable energy.

Request a custom analysis + bid from an Energy Trust of Oregon Solar Trade Ally today


Marketing Advantages

Reputation for Quality: The decision to install solar power on your building represents a commitment to quality, care and operational efficiency.

Media Attention: While more commercial buildings are beginning to see the virtues of investing in solar, the investment is still in the minority. By marketing your building as a green building, you raise the likelihood of social and media attention as you are leading by example.

Investment Advantages: Incorporating solar power into your commercial building can dramatically change the economic value of the building by improving vacancy rates (if applicable) as well as lowering the buildings operating expenses. These types of commercial buildings are excellent investment vehicles for real estate investment trusts or other investors who are looking for real estate with tremendous cash flow upside.

Employee pride and satisfaction: As the workforce is changing and unemployment remains at historic lows, investing in solar and an energy efficient building can improve the employees’ experiences and foster a sense of pride.


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Federal, State, Local Policies, Regulations, and Reports

Federal Investment Tax Credit

Energy Trust of Oregon Request analysis + bid

Green Energy Technology (GET) 1.5%

Multnomah County PACE

Portland Clean Energy Fund

SEIA’s Solar Means Business Report