As Oregon's solar industry takes off, builders have sometimes been at odds with city and state regulators struggling to keep on top of the changes. But the two sides came together briefly last week at the Northwest Solar Expo, with builders boning-up on state requirements and regulators offering more clarity on building codes and permits.
The expo, held at the Oregon Convention Center, was "the largest gathering of solar industry professionals ever in Oregon," Joe Reinhart, executive director of the Oregon Solar Energy Industry Association, said. Demand for professional training, which was offered at the expo for the first time this year, "exceeded our expectations," he said.
The Portland Bureau of Development Services took the opportunity to announce its new permitting process for solar installations, which was met with applause from contractors attending the event. The city has worked for a year to develop a more streamlined permitting process for solar installers, Andria Jacob, a conservation program manager for the Portland Office of Sustainable Development, said. [Read full article]
By Libby Tucker,
DJC Oregon - April 22, 2008