Oregon’s First Cooperative Solar Project Completed

View of solar at Manzama Mountaineering Center

The Oregon Clean Power Cooperative, together with the Mazamas and local solar installer Elemental Energy, will celebrate the completion of the Co-op’s first solar project on July 11 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at the Mazama Mountaineering Center (MMC), 527 SE 43rd Avenue, Portland. Solar panels installed by Elemental Energy now cover three sides of the roof of the MMC and are expected to produce half of its electrical needs.

Owned by its members, the Co-op’s mission is to use community financing to increase the amount of renewable energy in Oregon. It is focused on providing solar, wind, micro-hydro and other renewables to nonprofits, schools, local governments and other organizations that cannot take advantage of the tax incentives for renewable energy systems available from the federal government.

The Mazamas, a well-known Oregon nonprofit founded by a group of mountain climbers on the summit of Mt. Hood in 1894, first began looking for financing to install solar panels on its Portland building nearly a decade ago. It wasn’t until it teamed up with the Co-op and Elemental Energy that it was able to achieve that goal.

Elemental Energy will also be involved with another Co-op project, a solar installation on the First Unitarian Church in downtown Portland. John Greiser, owner of Elemental Energy, says, “We’re very proud to be part of the Co-op’s community solar projects. Through the Co-op’s community financing model, we are able to cost-effectively assist organizations like the Mazamas with achieving their goal to reduce their carbon footprint.”

View of solar at Manzama Mountaineering Center

The Co-op’s second project is currently underway in the city of Hood River. The 30kW system on the roof of the Public Works Building will be built, and owned initially, by Common Energy LLC, a local Hood River solar installer. Co-op projects are also being planned in Corvallis and southern Oregon.

Members of the public are invited to the July 11 event. To learn more about OCPC including how projects can be initiated and how to become a member, visit the web site www.oregoncleanpower.coop.


Written by: Linda Craig Photos credit Elemental Energy