What’s on Your Roof?

Putting solar on a customer’s roof is very rewarding for all of us at Hire Electric. We get to watch the meter go backward, we get the phone calls from happy customers when they get a credit rather than a bill from the power company, and we have the satisfaction of knowing we are making a positive impact for our world and our customer’s bottom line.

One frustration over the years has been those challenging homes and businesses that have a beautiful solar array but no good angle from the ground to get a proper photo of the system. If only we could get a little higher…

Problem solved:

We recently invested in a DJI Phantom Pro Quadcopter with a 4k camera. This baby can put us in the birds eye view. Check out Hire’s YouTube channel and subscribe to see more videos to come.

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Solar Jobs of 2015

2015 was our busiest year so far with 760kW worth of installations. Here’s a slide show highlighting some of that work (and some old jobs thrown in just for fun).

Our major accomplishments of 2015 were the community college projects with Schneider Electric: a 175kW tracker, flat roof mount and carport at Walla Walla Community College and a 100kW roof mount at Columbia Basin College in Pasco, WA. We also started the 123kW solar carports at Tamastslikt in Pendleton and did MANY Washington Made itek residential system. In Oregon and utilities in Washington that have tapped out their incentive allocation we installed many SolarWorld systems.

2016 is starting off with a bang with a 100kW chicken coop in Milton-Freewater, OR and a 25kW hardware store in Arlington, OR; and promises to be equally rewarding for Hire and the whole solar industry in the Northwest. Things are up in the air with the Washington legislature and Washington’s solar incentive program but hopefully that will be decided in short order during the special session.

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NO COAL – Action Alert for Oregon Voters

New Action Alert from OSEIA:
Contact both your state representative and your state senator to urge them to Vote Yes on SB 1547 to get coal out of Oregon rates and create a 50% Renewable Energy Standard by 2040!
Background:
In my last policy update I said that in these final days of the Oregon legislative session, anything can happen.
Well, here’s a case in point.
Yesterday evening, the House Rules Committee adopted amendments to put the Clean Electricity/Coal Transition Plan into another bill. These amendments were agreed to by the broad coalition supporting the legislation, including OSEIA. So there’s a new bill number: SB 1547. It still contains the language to remove coal from Oregon rates by 2030, increases the Renewable Energy Standard for PGE and Pacific Power to 50% by 2040 and includes the community solar provisions.
This was a legislative maneuver because the former bill was getting bogged down and was in danger of being caught behind a back-up of bills heading to the Senate floor. The new bill has already been through the Senate and will be at the top of the stack for a vote when it goes back.
But first, it has to pass the House. Because the Clean Electricity/Coal Transition Plan already passed the House once, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Confused yet? Again, in the final days of the legislature, anything can happen. But our message is very simple:
Tell your legislators to VOTE YES on SB 1547!
The key thing to remember is that time is NOT our friend. The 2016 session will be ending soon so we need to make sure that both our state representatives and state senators know that they must pass the Clean Electricity/Coal Transition Plan before they go home.
Please contact BOTH your state representative AND state senator to urge them to vote YES on SB 1547. Time is growing short in the session and we need to make sure that the bill passes before the end of the session.
Please take a moment right now to contact your state representative AND state senator to ask for a Yes vote on SB 1547.
Use this link to find your state representative and state senator if you do not know their contact information: 
* A cleaner, healthier Oregon. Pollution-free renewable power displaces electricity generation from fuels that emit harmful carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen oxides.
* A stronger local economy. Oregon would build upon the 5,000 jobs and nearly $10 billion of investment that renewable energy businesses have already brought to our state.
* Increased access to solar. Some homes and businesses can’t put solar modules on their roof. SB 1547 still has the language that authorizes the development of a community solar program to allow these customers to get the benefits of solar through shared projects.
 
Remind your state representative and state senator that they must pass SB 1547 before the session ends. Send a brief email or make a quick call today and urge your representative and your senator to vote “YES” on this renewable energy bill.
Thanks once again for being part of the solar movement in this state. SB 1547 will make a difference for solar and for Oregon.
Stay tuned!
Jeff
Jeff Bissonnette
Executive Director
Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association (OSEIA)
PO Box 14927
Portland, OR 97293-0927
See us at www.oseia.org
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Economic Impact of Solar in Washington State

Study released assessing the economic impact of the solar energy incentive program introduced in the original version of House Bill 2346
SIW 1/28/2016: This study, prepared by the Center for Economic and Business Research for Western Washington University, assesses the economic impact for the State of Washington of the solar energy incentive program according to the rates introduced in the original House Bill 2346. Asubstitute version of 2346 with revised rates passed the House Technology and Economic Development Committee and has been sent to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration.

This survey was undertaken to define the relationship between each kilowatt of solar installed in the state over the past three years and labor and economic activity involved in manufacturing and installing it. These metrics were combined with the incentive rates and program details of the proposed incentive program to determine the economic impact of each incentive dollar spent.

  • According to the rates outlined in the original version of HB 2346 (not the latest substitute bill) every dollar invested by the state generates approximately $7 in payroll and $16 in local economic activity.
  • The majority of the incentive is actually returned directly to the state in taxes.

HB2346 on the Washington Legislative Web Site

Western Washington University Economic Impact Assessment Report

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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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