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News Release
Commission Reduces Solar Incentive Rate for Next Enrollment Window
September 22, 2010 (2010-022)
Contacts:  Ray Baum, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Susan Ackerman, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Affairs Specialist, 503 378-8962
Salem, OR.  Following a strong response to the initial enrollment opportunity for a new solar incentive program earlier this year, customers will receive a slightly lower incentive rate. Utilities will begin enrollment at 8 a.m. Oct. 1, 2010 on a first-come, first-served basis. It will be the second of eight opportunities to sign up. Portland General Electric (PGE) will have 2.1 megawatts available and Pacific Power 1.4 megawatts. The size of the four-year pilot project is limited to 25 megawatts.
The new incentive rate for customers of PGE and Pacific Power is 10 percent less than the initial offering.  “We are trimming the amount paid to customers by roughly 7 cents per kilowatt because customers snapped up the first offering in a matter of minutes,” Commission Chairman Ray Baum said. “This tells us the amount might have been too high. We will look at modifying the incentive rate for the remaining enrollment periods depending on demand.” (See box below for new rates)
Customers must sign up using their utility’s website. PGE calls its “Solar Payments Option” and Pacific Power “Oregon Solar Options.” The Commission does not process applications.
Under the Oregon legislature’s four-year pilot program, customers with projects up to 100 kW in size receive a check each month from their utility for the energy generated by the solar system.  The purpose of the combined incentive is to help Oregonians pay for the cost of the solar system. Customers can transfer the guaranteed incentive rate to a new owner if they sell their home or business.
  • Customers of PGE and Pacific Power must hire Energy Trust of Oregon approved contractors to install solar panels. 
  • The size of the solar system cannot be greater than 90 percent of historical energy usage for a home or business. Capacity for existing homes is based on one years’ usage. New construction is based on three year’s usage for similar construction.
  • Only new solar systems are eligible.
  • The pilot project cannot be used with state tax credits or Energy Trust of Oregon incentives

Electric Companies
Small-Scale Systems (≤10kW)
Medium-Scale Systems (>10kW and ≤100kW)
Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington, and Yamhill
Pacific Power and PGE
0.495/ kWh
Coos, Douglas, and Hood River
Pacific Power and PGE
0.54/ kWh
0.495/ kWh
Gilliam, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Wallowa, and Wasco
Pacific Power
0.54/ kWh
0.495/ kWh
Baker, Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Lake, Malheur, and Harney
Pacific Power
0.495/ kWh
0.495/ kWh
Portland General Electric (Link removed 1/6/2016 - no longer active)
PacifiCorp (Pacific Power)