Solar Blog & Updates

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We Take Solar Energy Education Seriously

At Sunbridge, we spend a lot of time researching and writing about solar to help you decide if going solar is a good fit for you. You know your unique circumstances and we believe that educated customers make great choices for themselves, their families and their communities. Take your time and reach out to us with any of questions you may have.

Browse All of Our Solar Articles Below

Is Solar A Good Financial Choice?

Is Solar A Good Financial Choice? Just because you can solar does not necessarily mean that you should go solar. You must consider a number of factors to see if going solar will make sense from a financial standpoint. You can always go solar to help reduce the burning...

Residential Energy Tax Credit Update

Solar Bills Pass The First Hurdle Unanimously It's been a great week for solar in Oregon's capitol! On Monday the House Environment and Energy Committee unanimously passed OSEIA's top priority bill, HB 2681, which would extend the Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC)...

How Big Your PV System Must Be

Why Is This Important? Accurately sizing your photovoltaic (PV) system helps ensure that you produce the amount of solar power you want it to produce. Systems that are rated at 8,000 watts are sufficient to meet most households and small business owners energy...

2017 Humanitarian Solar Projects in Colombia

Sunbridge Solar Lands in Colombia This February Sunbridge Solar packed their bags and headed for a once in a lifetime trip to Colombia and the Amazon to work on two different solar projects. Before leaving, even contemplating a project in the Amazon invoked a mixed...

5 Solar Energy Myths You Always Believed True

o one enjoys being embarrassed…

…and solar power is just not what it used to be. Even as little as 2 or 3 years ago, the outlook for solar was entirely different than it is today.

Many people know this, and those numbers are growing every day …

How Do I Qualify For A USDA Solar Grant?

Solar Grants for Rural Small Business If you own a small business, you could qualify for grant money that covers up to 25% of a commercial solar installation’s cost. The USDA REAP (Rural Energy for America Program) is accepting applications for small businesses that...

The Solar Jobs Bill (HB 1048 / SB 5499)

It's Working! Because of all your calls to legislators in recent weeks, the Solar Jobs Bill (HB 1048 / SB 5499) is once again moving through the legislature. In the House, HB 1048 is still awaiting a vote in the House Finance Committee. In parallel, the Senate Energy,...

Tax Credits And Solar Power

The financial side of going solar… …is one of the most exciting parts of generating your own electricity. It is true that you are having a strong environmental impact by taking electrical pressure off the grid. Your solar array will reduce the number of fossil fuels...

Will Your Roof Work For Solar Power?

Last time, we talked about why Washington & Oregon works for solar in general. Today we are going to look at what you need to make solar work for you. The key, of course, is your site. Most people will choose to place a solar array on the roof of their home or...

Does solar work in the shade?

Shading is the most confusing issue that most homeowners considering solar power face. Modern photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, can tolerate a great deal more shade than their predecessors’ thanks to assistance from a new technology called a microinverter. However,...

Does Solar Work The Winter Months?

In the old days... People used to think of solar as impossible in rainy Western Washington and Oregon. But thanks to a clever legal policy called “net metering,” Washington is one of the best locations in the country for considering solar power. So what changed? About...

Oregon Solar Tax Credits

Did You Know? Did you know there are 64 solar contractors in the state of Oregon? Don’t feel bad if you didn’t, I never knew so many companies existed in the Pacific Northwest either. That’s a lot of competition which drives the price of...

USDA Solar Grant Case Study | Berry Best Farm

Berry Best Farm Was Awarded ~$16,000 From the USDA Washington REAP

This week we are taking some time to showcase some of the final numbers that our clients here at Sunbridge have experienced when going solar with us here in Washington.

With current incentives, an investment in solar energy delivers…

3 Solar Energy Risks That Could Pose to Your Home

While solar power works extremely well in both Washington State and the State of Oregon, it’s important to understand that there can be some risk to your home involved. Deciding who to trust in a complex, jargon-filled industry…

How to Select a Solar Contractor

Most reliable solar energy professionals carry a certification called “NABCEP” certification. NABCEP stands for North American Board of Certified Energy Professionals. NABCEP is…

New Washington Solar Home Value Tool May Change the Game

Will Solar Add Value to Your Home in Washington? We recently launched a new research project aimed at making sense of a solar home value study done in California. Getting attention with a 2011 study, done by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, homes that...

Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) Update

Oregon Solar Policy Update The Residential Energy Tax credit has been instrumental in providing in making solar panels more affordable to more Oregonian and building the solar expertise in our state. In an era of populism, it's crucial that you contact your...

Solar Jobs Bill’s legislative progress

Right now, the Legislature has the opportunity to update Washington’s solar jobs bill with a more effective, efficient program. In 2006, Washington State created the Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Incentive Payment Program to help build a local solar jobs  and to...

Solar Town Hall in Dalles, Oregon | March 16, 2016

Solar Town Hall in Dalles, Oregon | March 16, 2016 Solar power incentives are on the table in Oregon's state legislative session! Join Environment Oregon for a discussion about the future of pro-solar policies and solar power in Oregon. Solar Town Hall: Thursday,...

What is a Solar Microinverter

What is a Solar Microinverter? When you think about the typical solar panel system, there are some essential components that are universal to any installation. One component is the solar panel that varies in durability and efficiency depending on their manufacturer....

What is an Optimal Angle for Solar Panels?

What's the optimal angle for my solar panels? Your solar panels will need to capture the most amount of sunlight to generate the maximum amount of solar energy. To produce more power you will need to orient your solar panels the correct direction and determine the...

Colombia + Amazon Solar Projects

Our 2017's humanitarian solar projects On February 19th, Sunbridge Solar traveled to Colombia and to the Amazon and worked on two humanitarian solar projects alongside our Colombian partners Solosolar. The first humanitarian solar installation was installed on a rural...

Are Solar Panels Mainstream in the Pacific Northwest?

It Is Obvious That Solar Energy Is Mainstream in California California is seeing astonishing growth when it comes to the mainstream adoption of solar power. It has even been called the "Epicenter of the nation's solar energy industry." In Oregon and Washington, the...

How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

There is a reason banks will finance solar panels There is a reason that banks are now willing to finance solar energy installations using mainstream financial instruments. Solar panels are now demonstrating incredible longevity. Banks and lenders know that an...

What is the Federal Solar Tax Credit?

Introduction to the federal solar tax credit Last time, we discussed your roof and whether you would be physically able to go solar at your site. Now we move on to the financial side of the equation and begin to discuss incentives for solar power. For many homeowners,...

10 Solar Facts You Did Not Know

Solar facts are fascinating! Beyond the very basics of solar energy, there is a plethora of information about this renewable energy source that will keep you asking for more. Here are 10 interesting facts about solar energy. How many on this list do you already know?...

Are Solar Panels Safer Investment than S&P 500?

Best Investments of 2016: Amazon, Activision, Netflix….Solar Panels? Going solar is no longer just an environmental move; now, strong financing and incentive options have turned solar installation into a long-term, low-risk investment, one that’s even safer than the...

How Do Different Energy Sources Really Compare?

Renewable energy has been taking the limelight lately There has been an incredible push - from the President of the United States to the United Nations, to the Environmental Protection Agency to individual cities and states - to increase the use of renewable energy...

Solar Financing Is Now Mainstream

Why Lenders Finance Solar Power It used to be that going solar required a large, upfront cash investment. However, things have changed. For many folks, the costs of going solar can become extremely manageable when modern financing opportunities are explored. Solar has...

What is the cost of solar panels?

The actual price of going solar is a complex question and the answer is based on a number of factors Traditionally, solar companies have been unwilling to provide any pricing information online because these variables can so strongly affect the cost of switching to...

Can I sell my home after I install solar panels?

Consider the complications first Whether you lease solar panels or own them, there is a trade-off to consider. Both will simplify something that the other will not. Solar ownership simplifies home sales in the future and has been shown to add value to your home. There...

Are Solar Panel Prices Going Down?

Understanding the Question Whether or not the cost of solar panels are going up or down is a bit like asking, “Is it going to rain next week?”  We can do lots of research and have a decent amount of certainty regarding the likelihood that it will rain tomorrow, but...

Solar Leases vs. Owning Your Own Solar Panels

4 Major Investment Differences Between Leasing and Owning Your Solar Panels Solar panel leases have made the dream of going solar available to more homeowners than ever before. But when is a solar lease the right choice to make? In this article, we will lay out the...

2016 International Solar Projects

Using Knowledge Exchanges to bring International Projects to Portland 2016 was a year where we brought the international projects to Portland instead of going abroad. Our commitment remains to work on one international project every year. This year we sponsored our...

Finally! Inexpensive Solar Financing for Washington

The number one barrier we have found for many Washington homeowners interested in solar power is upfront cost.

There is no doubt that going solar is a serious investment. Financial Incentives are excellent and return a strong ROI…

Is the Cost of Solar an Investment Barrier in Oregon?

The Cost of Solar is No Longer an Investment Barrier in Oregon The cost of solar energy here in Oregon is no longer a barrier to those who wish to make a solar investment. Lower solar panel costs, lower installation prices and mainstream financing options (at rates as...

Does Solar Panels Add Home Value in Oregon?

It's Official. Solar panels add value to your home The Energy Trust of Oregon has conclusively demonstrated the addition of significant home appraisal value on solar homes. In this landmark study, the Energy Trust independently assessed 23 separate properties, finding...

Do Solar Panels Work in Rainy Oregon?

Solar Panels Do Work in Rainy Oregon We've all seen solar panel systems going up here in the rainy western part of Oregon, but how do you know that solar energy actually works as advertised? Renewable energy appears to be going mainstream, but with all the rain it can...

How Much Power Do Solar Panels Produce in the Pacific Northwest?

How We Estimate Your Solar Energy Production When we estimate your solar energy potential by visiting your home or business and performing a site evaluation.  We will check your exact potential using a solar energy production window measuring device, called a Suneye....

DIY Solar Panels vs Professionally Installed Solar Panels

Could I Save Money by Installing DIY Solar Panels Myself? It's possible It seems that all of us here in Oregon and Washington have a friend that is convinced that they can install DIY solar panels and save money upfront. That’s possible, but there are significant...

What Can A Solar Company Learn from a Dairy Farmer?

Agricultural Solar Panels Have The Potential I was looking around online yesterday when I came across this surprising story about the investments of Millionaire Dairy Farmer. It was a quick, clear set of investing pointers, but it was also a really great story that...

How Much Have Electric Rates Increased?

Yesterday, I Announced Some New Content on the Common Mistakes People Make About Going Solar

This new content was sparked by a conversation I had with an intelligent —but misinformed —friend of mine.

One topic that arises…

Do Solar Panels Affect Firefighters Ability to Protect My Home?

We Get This Question A Lot Will solar panels prevent firefighters from doing their job during a fire? We get this question a lot. Not too far back in the past, firefighters may see solar panel systems very infrequently. Such solar power systems were almost exclusively...

Solar Energy and Your Electric Bill

This is one of the most common questions that we hear and often times there are misconceptions about just how much energy your residential solar system will produce. A good place to start for any home or business owner is with…

Don’t Do These 5 Things When You Go Solar!

5 Home Solar Panel Installation Errors to Avoid With the solar industry expanding at an unprecedented rate, there is a great deal of flexibility in how you choose to go solar. However, you will have a much more positive solar experience if you avoid the following 5...

Our New Office, Nepal!

Sunbridge Solar is Excited to Announce After a dream and a lot of hard work, we have established a sister-company with our good friends in Nepal. Using the same name, Sunbridge Solar Nepal is the brainchild of Jordan Weisman and Jeevan Baidya. The idea started back in...

4 Reasons Why Solar Power Works in Cloudy Oregon & Washington

There was a time when people considered much of Oregon and Washington to be too cloudy for solar energy to function. But times have changed. Thanks to a smart solar incentives, improved technology, and utility buy-in. Now Oregon and Washington State has become one of...

A Day at the Office in Rural Nepal

SOLAR ENERGY BLOG Jeevan’s Day at The Office in Rural Nepal Adam Walters, Solar Blogger, Portland 23 July 2016 Located approximately 120 miles Southeast of Katmandu is where Jeevan works from. His work is accessible by road but only direct accessible from capital city...

Our Humanitarian Solar Partner in Nepal

Our Good Friend and Humanitarian Solar Partner, Jeevan Jeevan Baidya was born and raised in Nepal. He grew up in Bhaktapur, about eight miles east of the capital city of Katmandu. Bhaktapur literally translates to Place of devotees. Also known as Bhadgaon or Khwopa,...

3 Ethical Questions To Consider Before Going Solar

That’s a bold title, isn’t it?

If you are considering a solar investment, then you may already be feeling overwhelmed with the details. I know I feel that way sometimes; and I’ve been researching…

Only Electric Cars for Sale?

Electric Car Companies must be Smiling Imagine walking into a car dealership in Austria and the salesman shows you a Dynasti IT or perhaps a Mia Electric and My Car. Want something faster, well then there’s the BMW i3 or Tesla. Thinking about racing, there’s the...

Will Corvallis, Oregon require roof-top Solar Installations?

Will Corvallis, OR Require Solar Panel Installations? A climate action group calling themselves 350 Corvallis (the name refers to the parts per million of carbon dioxide scientists think is required to keep the planet livable) recently “proposed an amendment to city...

Solar Panel Recycling in Washington and Oregon

How to recycle your solar panels End-of-life disposal of solar products in the US is governed by the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and state policies that govern waste. To be governed by RCRA, panels must be classified as hazardous waste. To...

Introduction to MACRS Solar Depreciation

“Depreciation” is the loss of value that occurs over time when an object is purchased for a specific use. As a business owner, you are eligible to deduct this “loss…

Property Taxes and Solar Power in Washington State

Unlike many states (like Oregon and California), there is no specific exemption for property tax increases on your home or business when you install solar panels in Washington state.
However, the situation is far from catastrophic

Washington does carry…

Assessing Your Own Rooftop Before Solar

It’s true that to know exactly how things will turn out for your solar installation, you will need to consult a trustworthy professional.

However, you can do a solid job of building a “best guess” on your own. You may…

Sunbridge Empowers Local Public School

Sunbridge Solar Uses SolarWorld Panels to Empower a Local, Public School in Oregon City

We are excited to announce the completion of our 2014 expansion of our local, humanitarian project!

Residential Solar Incentives in Washington

Washington state provides a powerful set of incentives that make it nearly ideal for going solar. There are 5 main incentives or benefits to consider, and when combined, most home and…

MACRS Solar Depreciation Details

How to Calculate the MACRS Depreciation Benefit of Going Solar

The value of the MACRS Depreciation benefit can be challenging to consider without the guidance of a professional accountant.

We strongly recommend that our prospective clients…

How Long Do Solar Panels Really Last?

One of the primary considerations you will face when investing in solar energy for your home or business is how long the system will last.

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, and the answer can vary considerably, depending on the equipment you use, as well.

Solar Leasing Guide

Solar Leases vs. Owning Your Own Solar Panels Solar leases have made the dream of going solar available to more homeowners than ever before. But when is a solar lease the right choice to make? This easy guide lays out the main similarities and differences between...

Top 5 Solar Questions (and Their Answers!)

Many solar energy resources develop extensive FAQ (frequently asked questions) lists in an attempt to help those people interested in solar energy. While helpful, these lists can also be…

Does Solar Add Value to Your Home?

Independent Research for the Pacific Northwest

Last year, we began publishing information here at Sunbridge about an exciting, 2011 Lawrence Livermore Laboratories study out of California that demonstrated a significant increase in home resale values for…

Does Solar Work in Winter?

Is Solar a Worthy Winter Investment?

Yes It Can Be. Here Are 3 Reasons Solar in the Winter, Works!
1.) Cooler is Better

Solar panels actually work more efficiently in cooler winter temperatures…

Solar Barbeque in Washington a Smashing Success

John Polos, a recent customer of ours, was gracious enough to play host to one of our first Solar BBQ’s.

We were happy to work with John to get more folks involved in learning about what solar…

Bayalpata Hospital Solar Project Update

From the founder of Sunbridge Solar, Jordan Weisman… In October of 2012, I had the privilege of going to Nepal to visit the 9 kW solar energy system that Sunbridge helped to make a reality. Located in far Western Nepal’s Achham district, this hospital treats about...

Solar Powered Rain Water Harvested Irrigation

As part of a final capstone project for a Renewable Energy Technology Degree at Clackamas Community College, Sunbridge Solar designed and built a solar powered rain water harvesting system.  This particular system uses a one cell solar module to power a pump that is...

Made in Washington Itek Energy Solar Panels

Washington State that can still take full advantage of the Washington production incentives. Itek Energy, a Bellingham based solar module manufacturer is now producing high quality 280 watt panels that…

The Community Solar Movement

Community Solar is a concept that has broad appeal, after all, who doesn’t like the words “community” and “solar”? There have been a variety of approaches…

Portland Residential Solar Panel Production: One Year Later

This NE Portland residential solar array was installed on August 11, 2010. The customer was successfully enrolled in the Solar Payment Option Pilot program through Pacific Power. Since the customer will be receiving production based payments for the 15 year contract period it…

Million Monarchs Solar Installation | Sunbridge Solar

Million Monarchs strives to install solar arrays with sustainability as a focus paying particular attention to supply chain issues (where do the raw materials for the module actually come from), carbon footprint, and proper waste disposal.

What is Total Solar Resource Fraction (TSRF)?

In Oregon, in order to receive the rebate from the Energy Trust a system must have a 75% solar resource. This is known as the TSRF or Total Solar Resource Fraction. Solar arrays lose efficiency due to losses…

Solar Power for Washington State Farms

Many of our prospective clients come from the Yakima valley which boasts 4.86 average sun hours per day. This solar resource is well above the national average. In other words, there is plenty of sun to make solar feasible in Washington…

AlexEli Winery Solar Panel Installation | Solar Wine

The owner, Phil Kramer, has a strong commitment to grow grapes sustainably and the addition of a solar array to offset the winery’s electric usage was a choice that supported the larger long term vision for the winery. The solar array will offset roughly 25% of the winery’s yearly electric usage and as an added benefit will help to keep the building cool where…

Solar Adds Value to Your Home

The findings showed that a home with a 3kW system (approximately 14 solar modules) sold for on average of $17,000…

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