This state is an example of what happens when elected officials, consumer interest and private utilities unite to increase awareness of solar technology.
TecHome Builder’s new solar series takes it state-by-state to provide you with a better grasp on the current solar market, including current laws and advice from builders on how to overcome obstacles.
Part 14 of our series heads to Oregon, where we speak to renewable energy consultant Doug Bolelyn of Cascade Solar.
“I’m surprised there aren’t more new homebuilders including solar PV as standard, especially given the very attractive economics of solar in Oregon right now. A 5kW PV system that used to cost around $30,000 in 2009, now costs half that,” says Bolelyn.
Bolelyn attributes this price decline to the state’s green culture. “We have a collaborative culture going in which solar and all renewables are encouraged and fossil fuels are being phased out ahead of schedule,” says Bolelyn.
SCROLL: Builder Benefits to Oregon’s Diverse Energy Market
Oregon’s energy market is a unique mix of geothermal, hydroelectricity, natural gas and coal. The state is currently looking to increase its solar capacity to improve access to renewables and drive down electricity prices.
According to the EIA report on Oregon, the state experienced a 70.6 percent increase in utility-scale solar capacity from September 2015 to 2016.
This steady uptick in solar capacity could indicate that the Beaver State is fully invested and willing to explore solar and renewable technologies that impact builders and homebuyers.
If the state gets serious about further increasing its solar capacity through 2017, builders could see a big benefit to their solar standard. According to the EIA’s report, Oregon currently generates more electricity than it consumes. A further boost to green, inexpensive energy would lower monthly costs and incentivize your clients to commit to a solar standard.