Oregon may not be the first state that comes to mind when you think of solar power, but the Beaver State has been making some big moves on solar energy recently, including the Northwest’s largest rooftop solar project, what is believed to be the world’s largest solar-powered highway illumination system, and even a solar hot water system at a prison in eastern Oregon. Now, the Oregon Public Utility Commission has announced that it will be offering incentive payments to residents who install a solar energy system after July 1st, 2010.
These payments–which do not include state tax rebates or Energy Trust of Oregon incentives [Editor’s Note: updated based upon information provided in comments below]–will pay Portland General Electric, PacificCorp and Idaho Power customers a guaranteed amount for 15 years, providing an opportunity to cover the cost of the solar energy system. Rates will be set at a fixed rate for small to medium-sized projects, with rates for large projects determined through a competitive bidding process.
These incentives are being offered as part of a pilot program aimed at creating more distributed solar energy systems in residential and commercial buildings throughout the service regions defined by the Commission, up to 2500 kW; the state legislature approved the pilot program to run for four years.
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