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Solar Now! University team shares best practices with local governments in rural Oregon

In September, Solar Now! University hosted its second annual train-the-trainer conference in Roseburg, Oregon. More than fifty participants from Pendleton to Medford attended, representing local governments, non-profits, solar advocates, solar installers and utilities.
 
The conference was designed to provide guidance on how to develop local solar energy programs and expand market demand throughout the state of Oregon. Educational sessions included The 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 was 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 jobs in areas with high unemployment," said Susan Anderson, director, City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.

Participating communities received two days of training as well as an electronic toolkit handed out on USB drives.

"The City of Portland and its partners do not want communities to have to reinvent the wheel," said Lee Rahr, with Portlandís solar team. "The resources in the toolkit give them a helping hand to run programs that have been proven successful in Portland and Pendleton."

Support for the conference as well as funding for Solar Now's eight regional statewide partners is a result of the United States Department of Energy's Solar America Communities grant award to the City of Portland's Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Funding has helped ensure Solar Now's success and plant the seeds of solar energy independence throughout the state of Oregon.
 
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