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Planning and Sustainability

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1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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Rising energy costs motivate businesses to generate their own electricity with solar

Did you know that Portland businesses are increasingly finding successful ways to go solar? There are currently 131 commercial solar installations in Portland. The BPS Solar program provides free information about technology and incentives to guide businesses that are considering switching to solar for their energy needs.

One recent example of a local business going solar is Cloudburst Recycling. This local Portland hauler has tapped into the sun to generate electricity at their North Portland facility near the Fremont Bridge.  Installed in June 2010, the 23,900-watt solar energy system is anticipated to meet over 60 percent of the total annual electric load at the facility with clean, pollution-free electricity. Over the course of each year, the system will avoid the emission of over 10 tons of carbon emissions.  The system includes 104 photovoltaic modules manufactured by SolarWorld in Hillsboro, OR, and was designed and installed by a local solar contractor. In addition, they installed a water wash-down system, designed to help keep the panels clean for maximum efficiency.

“Through a combination of solar power generation, collecting waste vegetable oil to be used for biodiesel production, and conservation we hope to eventually produce most of the energy we consume in the course of providing our Waste Collection and Recycling services,” said David McMahon, founder of Cloudburst Recycling.

From their beginnings in 1975 as one of the first recycling companies in Portland, Cloudburst continues to be a leader in the environmental field and strives towards becoming energy self-sufficient. The solar installation and Cloudburst’s conservation practices highlight great steps for businesses to incorporate that save costs, support the local green economy, and help meet the City of Portland’s Climate Action Plan goals.  

Visit for general information. Contact Jaimes Valdez at 503-823-7109 for technical assistance, information about technology and incentives, as well as on-site guidance visits .