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BPS News: Solar Now! University team travels to Roseburg to share best practices with local governments in rural Oregon


19 September 2011

Christine Llobregat
City of Portland
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

Eric Swanson
City of Roseburg


Solar Now! University team travels to Roseburg to share best practices with local governments in rural Oregon

Educators from Solar Now! offer tools for inspiring community-level energy independence

Portland, Ore — Solar Now! University is heading to Roseburg, Oregon with the goal of growing local clean energy programs. Solar Now! University is an annual train-the-trainer conference intended to educate local governments, non-profits and solar advocates about solar energy in Oregon. Solar Now! University was created by the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Energy Trust of Oregon, Solar Oregon and the Oregon Department of Energy.

Offered from September 22 to 24, 2011 at the Public Safety Center in Roseburg, the second annual Solar Now! University brings together motivated communities from rural Oregon to take part in a statewide educational and outreach effort to increase awareness and demand for rooftop solar energy.
Attendees will receive guidance about how to develop local solar energy programs. Educational sessions address the following topics: Basics of Going Solar, Financing Solar on Schools and Public Facilities, Navigating Incentives and Tax Credits, Solar Permitting Resources, Site Evaluation and Tools and the USDA’s Renewable Energy for America Program Grants (REAP).

 “The City of Portland is excited to provide technical assistance to small Oregon communities that are working to grow local clean energy markets. Beyond promoting renewable energy, these efforts can contribute to the creation of local green jobs in areas with high unemployment,” said Susan Anderson, director, City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. “Having the support of the United States Department of Energy’s Solar America Communities program has made all the difference to ensure our program’s success.”

Solar Now! was created to help citizen volunteers, organizational leaders, municipalities and solar champions establish local solar outreach programs. With the right resources, training and support, community and municipal leaders can create their own community solar initiatives. Current financial incentives for homeowners remain some of the best in that nation.

“On behalf of the City of Roseburg, we are pleased to host the Solar Now University Conference.  This conference affords us the opportunities to not only learn about available funding for solar energy but also how to promote this clean, renewable energy source in our community. We are proud of the many citizens and organizations in our town that are now using this innovative technology. The City of Roseburg is also dedicated to pursuing funding for a solar project for our Public Safety Center.  Roseburg is a city committed to the future. When it comes to solar energy, the future is now,” said Larry Rich, Mayor of Roseburg.

For more information about Solar Now! University 2011, visit:

The City of Portland launched its first solar program in 2006 with the help of an award from the United States Department of Energy's Solar America Communities program. This grant award allowed the City to work with regional and national partners to accelerate the installation of solar energy systems in Portland.

Sponsors of Solar Now! University: United States Department of Energy, City of Roseburg, United Community Action Network, Supply Solutions and Umpqua Bank.

About Solar America Cities

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has designated 25 major U.S. cities as Solar America Cities committed to accelerating the adoption of solar energy technologies. Best practices and lessons learned from the Solar America Cities are shared across the United States to help other communities replicate successes.  Visit Solar America Communities online at


About the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

To create and enhance a vibrant city, BPS combines the disciplines of planning and sustainability to advance Portland’s diverse and distinct neighborhoods, promote a prosperous and low-carbon economy, provide a forum for community engagement and education and help ensure that people and the natural environment are healthy and integrated into the cityscape. With a city full of partners, BPS develops creative and practical solutions on issues as far ranging as comprehensive, neighborhood and environmental planning, urban design, waste reduction and recycling, energy efficiency, food and solar technologies.