Pringle Creek Painters Hall, Salem, OR
While the price drop in solar system components (panels, inverters, etc.) have been bad news for U.S. solar manufacturers, the lower prices have been good news for home owners and businesses interested in generating solar power.
For instance, California’s Solar Initiative (CSI) is more than half way to achieving its goal of 1,940 megawatts of solar capacity by the end of 2016. In fact, on June 8th of this year California solar installations set a record 849 megawatts of electricity. The state is looking to solar energy to supply the power for the afternoon peak demand created in the summer months by the AC [air conditioning] "rush hour."
Southern Oregon is also tapping into solar power since it receives as much, or more, sun than Florida. This part of Oregon has a number of solar projects underway including the state’s largest solar electric installation in Christmas Valley. Other southern Oregon solar projects include Lithia Motors, Klamath Community College and Rogue Disposal & Recycling. In addition to generating energy, these projects are also reducing the amount of energy they use through efficiency upgrades.
Oregon’s Solar Installation Specialty Code (OSISC) helps streamline the installation and permitting process. The ‘solar ready’ requirement in Oregon Reach Code should make it cheaper and easier to install solar panels at a later date after construction is complete.
Below is a map of the Pacific NW from the University of Oregon, Solar Radiation Monitoring Lab. It clearly shows that the southern, central and eastern parts of state have the solar advantage.