Sprint to the Finish Line
Talk about a week of whirlwind action! Following a few weeks of deadlock, our tireless representatives in the Oregon Senate hammered out a resolution to wrap up the legislative session. Starting from June 20th, our lawmakers launched into an energetic marathon of votes to pass all budgets and remaining bills. All eyes are on the Legislature as we anticipate a productive conclusion to the session by the end of this week.
A Bright Future for Solar
Now, here comes the exciting part for all you green energy enthusiasts! The Solar + Storage rebate, a key supporter for all Oregonians tapping into solar power, is projected to be extended all the way to 2029. The cherry on top? Hefty funding of $10 million!
Boost for Community Renewable Energy
The progress doesn’t stop there. The Community Renewable Energy Grant Program, another cornerstone for Oregon’s renewable energy landscape, is forecasted to receive a financial shot in the arm worth $20 million in additional funds.
Furthermore, counties statewide are about to get their share of energy planning funds, supporting the drafting and execution of comprehensive, eco-friendly energy strategies at a local level.
Anticipated Bills in Pipeline
As if that wasn’t enough good news, we are all eagerly awaiting the passage of two bills that promise to be game-changers. The first one is the statewide energy planning bill, a pioneering piece of legislation that will chart a green path forward for all of Oregon.
Secondly, we’ve got the community solar property tax exemption bill. With this projected to pass, we can expect a boom in community-based solar projects, extending the reach and benefits of solar energy to even more Oregonians.
OSSIA’s Concerns and Commitment
However, every silver lining does have a cloud. The Oregon Solar + Storage Industries Association (OSSIA) has voiced concerns over the Legislature’s decision to fund a rulemaking process for large-scale utility solar siting by the Department of Land Conservation and Development. This may throw a few roadblocks in the way of developing utility-scale solar projects.
Despite this hiccup, OSSIA is not backing down. The association has pledged to proactively engage in the process, with the goal of guiding it to a win-win outcome for all parties. A shout-out to all the OSSIA members who lobbied their legislators this session. Your tireless efforts are seeing the rewards!
The Final Word
As we anticipate the end of this legislative session, the strides we’ve made in the renewable energy arena are nothing short of monumental. Oregon is pedaling hard on the road to sustainability, providing an inspiring blueprint for other states. Keep watching this space for more updates!