Leaders of a 5-year campaign to increase the amount of solar installed in Corvallis have released data on their progress so far. The Harvest Sunshine team, a partnership of the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition, the Corvallis Environmental Center, and Environment Oregon, came together in December 2015. Their goal: increase the number of solar rooftops in Corvallis from 840 in 2015 to 2,000 rooftops by the end of 2020. This would result in an increase from 4.2 MW to 10MW – more than doubling the amount of renewable energy the community produces.
Data from Consumers Power and the Energy Trust of Oregon show an increase of 13% during the first year, from 4,077 kW to 4,643 kW. “This is a significant increase,” said Annette Mills, who leads the Harvest Sunshine team. “But we need to dramatically step up the pace of shifting to renewable energy in order to meet our goal and to combat climate change.”
The numbers include all solar in the Corvallis community – residential, commercial, municipal, and Oregon State University. With the cost of solar dropping dramatically, team members emphasize that there’s never been a better time to make the transition to solar energy. Also, the Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) is due to expire at the end of 2017, and there is no assurance that the Oregon State Legislature will be renewing it. For homeowners who have been considering solar, now is the time to do it.
Seeds for the Sol (SFTS), a local non-profit organization that helps low- and middle-income homeowners finance solar, reports that interest in solar is not slowing down. Seeds for the Sol provides zero-interest loans to their clients and facilitates the transfer of clients’ state tax credits. “For those who are interested in going solar but find the upfront cost daunting, financing through Seeds for the Sol is a very attractive option”, Mills explains.
SFTS is also in need of Pass-Through Partners: individuals who would like to purchase a SFTS client’s state tax credit at 90% of its value, turning it into a win-win proposition. The homeowner is able to afford solar, while the Pass-Through Partner earns up to $600 through tax credits. For more information, visit their website at www.seedsforthesol.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this local solar campaign, every rooftop counts. Homeowners who are interested in learning more about going solar can visit Harvest Sunshine online at http://sustainablecorvallis.org/harvest-sunshine/.