Making Energy Work In Rural Oregon
Making Energy Work In Rural Oregon
Making Energy Work In Rural Oregon

Making Energy Work In Rural Oregon



Piloting, refining, and replicating community solar across Oregon

Awarded:: Seed Funds, TA Voucher, Participant

Team Information

Team Lead
Lee Rahr
Team Lead LinkedIn Profile
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Project Description

Project / Program Description

Rural communities depend on community and public facilities for critical services. Schools, churches, low-income service providers and community centers not only provide hands-on assistance but are important gathering places. The recently formed Making Energy Work in Rural Oregon Team is a coalition of rural community leaders advancing community solar on public facilities through the state of Oregon. The goal of the coalition is to expand solar access while increasing rural community resiliency and energy independence.

The coalition of rural energy champions will explore innovative solutions to expand access to solar energy by increasing the pace and scale of community solar in rural Oregon through two primary objectives: 1) Pilot, refine and replicate new community solar models emerging in Oregon; and 2) Develop a portfolio of community solar projects across rural communities in Oregon to scale innovative financial models.

Oregon now has two separate groundbreaking laws that enable community-owned and scaled renewable energy, with other emerging models for low income facilities currently being piloted. The Making Energy Work Team will seek to pilot these models, recommend changes and refinement, and work with one another to replicate best practices and models sharing key legal, technical, financial and administrative expertise.

Application Video
Application Video
Project Updates

The Making Energy Work team has advanced several community-financed projects benefiting low and middle income households in our three communities across Oregon. The first project in Hood River County was installed in July 2017, utilizing an innovative crowd funded cooperative model on the city public works facility. 

Lake County is pursuing solar on the county library with support from the cooperative. Douglas County is exploring several sites including a local church that also houses several low-income services such as Meals on Wheels for seniors and a local community garden.

A Lake County Summer Tour was hosted in June 2017 to visit existing and proposed solar projects benefiting low income households. In October 2017, Hood River County hosted the Fall Energy Symposium bringing together the SunShot Team and Making Energy Work partners to advance clean energy projects and programs across rural Oregon. 

Team Images
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    Public Works Facility_Solar Array.JPG


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  • Saving Grace 43kW Solar Array_DC.JPG

    Saving Grace 43kW Solar Array_DC.JPG


  • Saving Grace_Ribbon Cutting_DC.jpg

    Saving Grace_Ribbon Cutting_DC.jpg


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