Disadvantaged Communities of Oregon are Given Access to Solar Energy Saving Technology

Funds amounting to $86.6 million from the Solar for All Grant has been allocated to Oregon by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The funding will enable rural, disadvantaged communities, and low-income residents to access energy-saving solar technology.

The five-year grant will also create jobs in the renewable energy field to help boost local economies, reduce air pollution, and curb greenhouse gas emissions.


Huge Investment into Creating Renewable Energy

The huge financial investment in a triad partnership, known as the Oregon Solar for All Coalition, will be dedicated to renewable energy creation to help Oregon reach its emission reduction goals says Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) director, Janine Benner.

She said the investment will enable the Oregon Solar for All Coalition to lower the cost of renewable energy to enable low-income households and disadvantaged communities to access solar-powered energy.

The Oregon Solar for All Coalition is a three-way partnership between the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, the Energy Trust of Oregon, and the Oregon Department of Energy. The organization will spend the rest of this year developing fund application programs, putting incentive programs into place, and leveraging existing solar programs before considering funding applications.


The Advantages for the Community

The advantages for the community include rebates for low-income single-family households to install rooftop solar for little or no cost, as well as rebates for multi-family living units. The grant will also be used to develop community solar projects and to strengthen Oregon’s green job workforce.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stipulated that at least 40% of the $86.6 million grant must be channeled into communities hardest hit by climate change and forms part of the President Joe Biden Justice40 Initiative.

The senior policy analyst at the Oregon Department of Energy, Rob Del Mar, says the grant will for the first time enable the triad to offer renewable solar solutions to low-income households. He said that disadvantaged households were a sector of the market that could not previously be served because of financial restraints. Del Mar said the funds now gave them the opportunity to enter previously unexplored new areas and expressed the hope that the program will be ready to launch early next year.


Every Community Has a Green Energy Future

Every community in Oregon will have a green energy future thanks to this single largest investment in the U.S. to combat climate change, says the EPA Region 10 Administrator, Casey Sixkiller.

Sixkiller says the grant will propel the deployment of solar power throughout the state, create work, strengthen the power grid and, importantly, lower the cost of energy for every Oregon household.

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