The Oregon Senate has been buzzing with activity recently. Despite some legislators not attending floor sessions, there have been some key developments. Two notable bills that support utility-scale solar, HB 3055 and HB 3179, were up for discussion in the Senate Energy and Environment Committee.
The first bill, HB 3055, aims to establish eligibility caps for a standard avoided costs rates and contracts for the purchase of energy from qualifying facilities at no less than 10 megawatts.
The second, HB 3179, seeks to modify the definition of “renewable energy facility” for the purpose of the county permitting process for solar photovoltaic power generation facilities. Both bills were debated and then moved for voting at the subsequent committee hearing.
A Boost in Oregon’s Revenue Forecast: A Win for Solar Initiatives
Midweek brought promising news with the release of the state revenue forecast. The forecast exceeded expectations by $1.9 billion, which bodes well for bills that will require state funding. One such bill is the solar + storage rebate, a program that offers rebates for residential customers and low-income service providers in Oregon who install solar electric systems and paired solar and storage systems3.
Upcoming Decisions in the Oregon Legislature
With just over five weeks remaining in the current legislative session, there’s a chance for a deal that could bring back all legislators to vote on policy and budget bills. We’re keeping a close eye on the progress of these developments, particularly how they might affect solar initiatives.
2023 Oregon Solar Incentives
There are already several incentives available in Oregon to promote the use of solar power. These incentives make solar power more affordable for residential, commercial, and agricultural customers:
- Energy Trust of Oregon Incentives: Provides cash incentives for solar power installations.
- Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC): Offers a tax credit for solar power systems on residential and commercial properties.
- Oregon Solar and Storage Rebate Program: Offers rebates for solar electric systems and paired solar and storage systems.
- Oregon Solar Electric Incentive Program: Offers incentives for installing solar electric systems.
- Net Energy Metering: Allows customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to feed electricity they do not use back into the grid.
- USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants: Provides grants for rural businesses and agricultural producers to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements.
- Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS): Provides a method of depreciation for certain kinds of property, which allows businesses to recover investments in certain property through depreciation deductions.
- Low-Income Solar and Community Solar Program: Provides opportunities for low-income households and communities to benefit from solar power.
- Local Utility Solar Incentives: Some local utilities offer additional incentives for solar power.
- These incentives are subject to change and may require certain conditions to be met.
Please consult with a solar power expert for the most up-to-date information.
Interested in the Benefits of Solar Energy?
At Sunbridge Solar, we understand that the transition to renewable energy might seem complex. That’s why we’re here to help. We offer free consultations for residential, commercial, and agricultural customers interested in learning about the benefits of solar energy.
Our team of solar energy experts will guide you through the process, answering all your questions about installation, costs, and the benefits you can expect to see on your energy bills