Lake Oswego, OR- Last night, the Lake Oswego City Council voted unanimously to set a goal of tripling solar installations within the city by 2021, making it the second Oregon city in as many months to do so, following Milwaukie in April. Tripling installed solar in Lake Oswego would mean increasing total installed solar capacity from approximately 329 kW to 1 MW, the equivalent installing nearly 135 new residential solar rooftops.
“We have incredible untapped potential for solar energy in Oregon, and Lake Oswego is a shining example of a city that is rising to the occasion,” said Charlie Fisher, Environment Oregon’s clean energy advocate, “If solar installations grew statewide at the same rate as it’s poised to in Lake Oswego, it would be the equivalent of adding 52,000 new solar rooftops in just five years.”
Oregon currently gets less than 1% of its total electricity comes solar power, but according to a recent report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the state has the technical potential to get almost a third of its energy from the sun based on its amount of solar-suitable rooftops. The price of solar has also come down by more than half since 2009, making it increasingly affordable for a growing number of people.
"Lake Oswego is joining the solar leadership in Oregon,” said Jeff Bissonnette, the Executive Director of the Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association, “The solar industry looks forward to continuing our work with the many cities across the state that are expanding the benefits of solar energy.”
This step by the City Council is part of a growing movement of local governments taking action to promote the adoption of clean energy in their community. Last month, the City of Milwaukie voted to triple solar installations by 2021 and the City of Corvallis agreed to loan $100,000 to Seeds for the Sol, and local program that helps low-income households go solar. Additionally, Lincoln County is in the process of considering similar measures to the ones adopted by Lake Oswego.
Fisher added, “It’s clear that we need bold action to tackle climate change. This step by the Lake Oswego City Council will not only help get more clean energy on the grid now, but it will also send a signal to state leaders that clean energy needs to continue to be a priority.”