GO! Solar Workshops in The Gorge

GO! Solar is a solarize initiative that facilitates the installation of residential solar systems in Hood River, Wasco, and Klickitat counties. Partnering with local contractors and suppliers, securing local lending options, and working with utilities, local government and nonprofit partners, GO! Solar equips Gorge homes with PV systems at a remarkably low cost.goSolar-logo-v3

GO! Solar Delivers:

    • Locally-Tailored Information: GO! Solar aims to provide the most relevant information for both Oregon and Washington residents in all counties served.
    • Partnering Contractors Committed to the Mission: GO! Solar’s vetted contractors are passionate about solar and their community.
    • Seamless and Worry-Free: It’s easy to get lost in the technicalities around going solar. GO! Solar contractors walk you through the steps of going solar, explain the tax incentives, and handle all permitting.
    • Easy on Your Pocketbook and the Environment: Solar is an investment that makes good economic sense. Installing solar reduces your monthly utility bill, increases the value of your home, and reduces your dependence on less-ideal sources of energy.

Sign up for GO! Solar before March 31, 2016. Learn more about the program at one of our Launch Events:

Hood River and Wasco Counties: Mon, Feb. 1 5:30-7 PM · Full Sail Brewing Company

Skamania CountyWed, Feb. 10 6:00-7:30 PM · Walking Man Brewing · Stevenson, WA

 

GO! Solar is made possible by the support of the following partners:
Greenhome Design+Construction
Hire Electric
Common Energy

Find out more here: GO! Gorge Owned website.

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Klickitat County Farm Walk – WindPOWER

April 4, 2016 – Wind Energy on the Farm – Bassetti Farm & Ranch, Klickitat County
More information coming soon! This Farm Walk it a joint effort between Washington Tilth and NWSeed.

Bassetti-056 Bergey

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Dark Sky Talk at The Discovery Center

There will be an informative workshop on the benefits of keeping our night sky dark at the Discovery Center on January 22nd at 7pm. Bob Yoesle of the Friends of the Goldendale Observatory is an expert in this field and has put together an engaging presentation.

Fortunately, with well designed, super energy efficient lighting we can preserve our rural dark sky and still maintain excellent levels of safety and security. Quality lighting where it’s needed rather than quantity lighting that mainly goes out to space or glaring into the neighbor’s window.

2016 01 22 Lights Out FLYER sm2016 01 22 Lights Out FLYER

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Farm Walk – Badger Mountain Vineyard

April 25, 2016, 12:30pm http://www.nwseed.org/calendar/

Please join us for a free and informative Farm Walk at Badger Mountain Vineyard.

Participants will hear from the farmer, solar installers, financial institutions, and renewable energy experts from Northwest SEED. Following the tours, participants can receive technical assistance from Northwest SEED to move their renewable energy project idea forward.

Participants can sign up at http://tilthproducers.org/programs/farm-walk/upcoming-farm-walks/#RenewableEnergy or call 206-632-7506.

Badger Mountain Vineyard

1106 N Jurupa St, Kennewick, WA 99338
Benton County

Badger Mountain Vineyard was the first Organic Certified wine grape vineyard in WA State. They installed a 3.6kW solar array on the tasting room with Seraphim Energy and in 2011 installed a 36kW array on their barrel building with Hire Electric.

Solar on the Barrel Building

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Tamástslikt Solar Project Begins

In their continuing quest to reach net zero energy consumption, Tamástslikt Cultural Institute in Pendleton, Oregon is building two solar carports in their parking lot. This follows installation of a wind turbine last year.

With a portion of a grant from Pacific Power Blue Sky of Oregon for $350,000 and a cash award from the Energy Trust of Oregon in the amount of $78,138, Tamástslikt was able to start construction this week on two solar carports with a total rated capacity of 123kW.

The 432 – SolarWorld 285 watt solar panels were manufactured in Hillsboro, Oregon and will produce about 140,000kW hours of electricity per year – enough to power thirteen average Northwest homes.

Hire Electric, who installed the 50kW wind turbine at Tamástslikt in early 2014, is constructing the carports. Hire Electric has been installing solar and small wind systems in eastern Oregon and Washington since 2003.

The project was able to employ a recently certified welder, Charles Woods who just graduated from the CTUIR/TERO welding program.

~Press Release by Michelle Liberty

 

Here’s an article about the project in the East Orgonian: Solar Carports Built at Tamastslikt 12/25/2015

Carport Skeleton Charles Woods N rack skeleton

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Endurance Wind Machine in Pendleton – going strong

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Making Solar Work In Rural Oregon

Hood River is on its way to discovering energy savings and renewable energy opportunities. Join us and learn how to reap the rewards of local energy programs and projects.

This one-day workshop brought to you by Gorge Owned and Columbia Gorge Climate Action Network is designed to help Hood River increase its investment in clean energy as a way to create a healthier environment for the community, grow the tax base, and save and keep money in the region.

Topics include: Discovering Hood River’s clean energy potential, learning from success stories in Hood River and other Oregon communities, and investing in community-owned energy projects. There will be plenty of time for questions and small-group discussions.

Location: Hood River Fire Station, 1785 Meyer Pkwy, Hood River, OR
Time: Sign-in begins at 8:30 a.m. Workshop is 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Registration Cost: $15, which covers meals (Pine Street Bakery and Marley’s Corner) and workshop sessions.

Marine Ground Mount

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Solar is in Trouble in Washington

In March Klickitat PUD capped out their solar incentive program. Just last week Benton REA closed their program to new participants. Little by little the rural utilities we work with in Washington State are reaching their Production Incentive cap of .5% of annual taxable power sales. We just got this letter from our Washington State Solar Trade group – Solar Installers of Washington that explains the situation and gives you some ways to help:

September 24, 2015

PRODUCTION INCENTIVE CAPS REACHED

Solar installations in Washington have been booming thanks to a successful incentive program. Now several utilities in Washington report that they are close to hitting their solar production incentive pay-out caps.

This means that the amount of annual production incentive you receive could be reduced, depending on your utility and depending on what happens in the upcoming legislative session.

Installers are just being notified of this issue in the Seattle and PSE service territories. The existing production incentive program lacks transparency so it’s difficult to know for certain where each utility is in relation to its cap. Some small public utilities have already reached theirs. Some of these have closed their incentive programs to new applicants.

The primary cause of this situation is the rapid deployment of solar throughout Washington. Additionally, homeowners are installing larger solar systems and using Made-in-Washington equipment, with a higher incentive rate. Finally, a sunnier and milder winter and spring than forecast resulted in more solar production and less revenue for utilities.

WHAT IS BEING DONE

SIW is actively working on a solution. We are engaging with leaders in the state Legislature and with utility representatives to pass a new solar incentive bill. The 2016 legislative session begins in January. It is critical to the future of state solar incentives that we pass a bill this session, both for current and future solar customers.

A bill to raise the overall cap was introduced during the 2015 legislative session but did not pass. We need your help now.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Lawmakers need to hear from customers who may be impacted by the rate reduction:

1) MOST EFFECTIVE: Call or email your local officials with a personalized plea for their support. You can find their contact information at http://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/.

2) VERY EFFECTIVE: Fill out this Letter Campaign to automatically send a message to your local officials based on your address.

3) STILL EFFECTIVE: Contact your utility and let them know you want to see the solar incentive program extended. Please ask them to support solar legislation in 2016.

4) STILL EFFECTIVE: Fill out this Petition to the Committee Chairs who will eventually oversee the bill.

Speaking directly with your local representatives is most effective, but this certainly helps.

Incentive Cap RevFinal

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Breaking SolarWorld Solar Panels

Yes, they really did break dance on the solar panels at the SolarWorld Installer Summit. No, they did not break.

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Discovery Center Solar Array Dedication

On August 28th at 10am the solar array we installed for the Bonneville Environmental Foundation at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles, OR will be dedicated.

Columbia Gorge Discovery Center
5000 Discovery Drive
The Dalles, OR 97058
USA

Here’s the Discovery Center announcement:

Join us as we officially dedicate our new Renewable Energy Exhibit with a ribbon cutting. The exhibit, funded by Google and Bonneville Environmental Foundation, adds to the available power utilized by the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum, and provides an educational opportunity on using solar power as a renewable energy resource. The exhibit is in three locations; the Solar Pavilion, sponsored by Google, is an interpretive exhibit on renewable energy that includes schematics of solar energy systems and a real-time display inside the museum of solar energy being produced. The Bonneville Foundation sponsored exhibit on renewable energy is an interactive display that highlights alternative energy sources.

This exhibit was made possible in part through a $50,000 grant provided by Google and a $25,000 grant provided by Bonneville Environmental Foundation. The project was planned by the Delta Energy Club at Columbia Gorge Community College, and installed by Hire Electric.

Coffee, punch and cookies provided. The event is free to the public.

Sorensen Construction (aka Common Energy) built an amazing wood frame pavilion that we installed 10 – SolarWorld 270 watt solar panels on with Enphase M250 micro inverters. The system ties into the main museum electrical distribution and helps to reduce their bill and provide an alternative energy education opportunity for museum goers.

Discovery Center Solar

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