City of Portland launches Solar Forward, community solar program

City of Portland launches Solar Forward, community solar program

This fall, the City of Portland launched Solar Forward, a new opportunity to enable community members to fund renewable energy projects on local, publicly-owned facilities like community centers, schools, libraries and other buildings.

A grant from the Oregon Community Foundation was used to kick-start construction of the first 10-kilowatt solar electric installation at the City of Portland’s Southwest Community Center. The system is expected to generate approximately 10,500 kilowatt hours per year for the community center, with more production in the summer and less in the winter. This installation is intended to raise community gifts to fund more projects on underused public rooftops in Oregon.

Less than 25 percent of residential rooftops in Portland are suitable for hosting on-site solar energy systems. Solar Forward allows residents, including renters and others who can’t install solar electric panels at home, to invest in their community’s clean energy future by participating in the development of new, local renewable energy systems.

Solar Forward seeks community donations to start a revolving loan fund for this system and future community solar projects. Donations of any amount are tax deductible. All contributors will receive permanent recognition at the Southwest Community Center. Once the goal of $50,000 is raised, the city can finance the installation of others systems on publicly-owned facilities.

Solar Forward is a collaboration between the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, City of Portland Parks and Recreation and Solar Oregon.