Solar Beaverton: Beaverton, Ore.
In 2010, the City of Beaverton, Ore. started Solar Beaverton, a city-led community solar program designed to encourage residential renewable energy. Led by Mayor Denny Doyle and the city’s Sustainability Division the program was created to increase the use of renewable energy and contribute to the reduction of the city’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This process included educating residents about solar power and helping residents take advantage of state and federal financial incentives to go solar. Additionally, by supporting local contractors and manufacturers, the Solar Beaverton program is also supporting and growing the local economy by providing 12 fulltime, green jobs. As of March 2012, as a result of Solar Beaverton, 258 Beaverton homeowners have installed solar systems in their homes, resulting in approximately 175,000 pounds of CO2 offset. In 25 years--the approximate life of a solar panel installation--it is estimated that all of the solar systems installed will result in 4.3 million pounds of CO2 offset.
For more information visit the Solar Beaverton website at: http://livelightenergy.com/solarbeaverton/
Local leadership behind an innovative program is as critical as community engagement in order for a program to be successful.
Creative sustainability projects can yield large, impactful results for a small investment.
Programs like Solar Beaverton, that are managed by the city, help to ease the burden of implementing new projects on the residents, making it more likely that they will be able and willing to participate. By doing most of the legwork for the residents, streamlining the process and negotiating bulk prices, the city is ensuring that residents benefit from the best option available.
Utilizing local installers that use locally manufactured materials supports the local economy and often creates long-standing green jobs.
Pilot programs are a useful method to test a new technology or program in your community before establishing it city-wide.
- Competitive bid processes can be a useful method of finding vendors and partners whose mission and values align with the city’s mission and values. Don’t be afraid to set high standards in the RFP process.
For More Information:
Sustainability Program Manager, City of Beaverton
Energy that comes from sources that are not depleted by use. Examples include energy from the sun, wind, and small (low-impact) hydropower, plus geothermal energy and wave and tidal systems.Greenhouse gases are a part of the Earth's atmosphere and are both naturally occurring and the result of human chemical processes. The most common greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, and chlorofluourocarbons. These gases trap heat and thus contribute to the warming of the planet. See also CFCS and GREENHOUSE EFFECT.The ability or potential of a physical body to do work. The most common forms of energy are heat, light, mechanical (moving parts), and electrical.