Thanks to the hard work and dedication of solar trade ally contractors, 2021 was a record-breaking year for Energy Trust’s Solar program, with far more solar projects than in any previous year. Energy Trust’s official 2021 results will be published soon, but in the meantime, here are some highlights from this past year:
- Oregon House Bill 3141 extended the sunset for Energy Trust’s renewable energy programs by 10 years to 2035 and shifted how we spend public-purpose funding. Starting in 2022, at least 25% of the funding will be dedicated to serving customers with low and moderate incomes. The new legislation also allows Energy Trust to invest in technologies such as battery storage and smart inverters that can support resilience and provide additional grid benefits beyond just clean electricity.
- The Solar program reached a major milestone in late 2021: We’ve now supported more than 20,000 solar electric installations on Oregon homes and businesses. These systems add up to almost 200 megawatts of local, distributed solar power.
- Trade allies submitted over 3,000 residential solar applications in 2021, including more than 600 Solar Within Reach applications. That’s more residential applications than we have ever received in a single year, even compared to 2017, when the state’s Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) expired.
- Energy Trust paid out over $9 million in Solar incentives to trade allies and customers, supporting residential and commercial solar installations totaling more than $100 million.
- The program shared over 3,800 customer bid requests for solar and solar+storage systems with trade allies, a 115% increase over 2020. We added administrative support to speed processing and are exploring ways to further improve solar leads in 2022.
- Energy Trust awarded funds for five small-scale Community Solar projects. To qualify, projects must be installed by a trade ally and either partner with a local community-based organization to enroll customers or dedicate at least half their system capacity to benefit low-income customers. (Look for more opportunities for community solar funding in 2022).
- The Solar program partnered with Portland General Electric to start enrolling customers in the PGE Smart Battery pilot. We will continue working closely with utilities on new incentives and programs as Oregon builds out a cleaner, more flexible grid.
Energy Trust is grateful to our Solar trade allies for helping make 2021 our biggest year ever for solar energy. This level of success would not have been possible without trade allies’ efforts to help customers save money on their electric bills and go solar. Thank you!
Please contact the Solar team if you have questions about 2021 results or 2022 Solar program updates.