The 2021 legislative session included a great deal of support for clean energy in Oregon. Out of the legislation that passed, House Bill 3141 will have the greatest impact on Energy Trust’s Renewable Energy Programs, as it extends funding through 2035. It also expands our scope to include technologies, such as storage, that improve the reliability and resiliency of the electric grid and requires that at least 25% of our funding serves customers with low- and moderate-incomes.
Prior to the passage of HB 3141, Energy Trust could only provide incentives for renewable generation technologies, and our renewable energy programs would have concluded in a few years. With HB 3141 signed into law, we can continue growing and evolving our programs along with the rest of the industry—and we’re ready for the journey ahead.
The passage of HB 3141 did not occur in a vacuum. The political, social, and environmental climate of the last several years has shifted priorities and brought new key issues to the forefront. Energy Trust is an energy nonprofit, of course (it’s in the name), but energy touches every aspect of our lives. Important conversations about equity and justice have reshaped how public-facing programs should be run. Disaster events that previously happened once in a generation have become an annual occurrence. Technical innovation is enabling new opportunities. Even amidst an ongoing pandemic and these times of change, the solar industry is booming: We’ve already seen our biggest year ever, just through the third quarter of 2021.
All of this sets the stage for an exciting new future for Energy Trust’s renewable energy programs. There’s more to come over the course of 2022, but you can start by reading more about Energy Trust’s Solar Vision here.