Ashland Solar Pioneer Program
The City of Ashland has been promoting the use of solar energy since 1981, when it passed one of the first citywide solar access protection ordinances in the United States.
In 1996, a net metering law was passed which established a simple grid interconnection policy encouraging solar systems by allowing net metering and committing the City to purchase, at full retail price, up to 1,000 kWs of excess electricity per month from small wind or solar generation resources.
In 1999, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, which was established to promote new renewable energy projects and watershed restoration in the Pacific Northwest, announced that Ashland was one of the first three grant recipients. The matching 1:2 grant, in the amount of $62,500 was given to Ashland to fund the Solar Pioneer Program.
The Bonneville Power Administration then added $100,000 to increase the size of the system by purchasing 20 years of solar output of the larger system. Avista Corporation agreed to purchase the tax credit available through the State of Oregon and administered by the Oregon Office of Energy.
In the spring of 2000, more than 250 citizens voluntarily added a Solar Pioneer surcharge to their electric bill. This surcharge of $4.00 per month will be used to reimburse the Festival and the University for solar generated electricity at $.25 kWhs, until their investment is fully recouped. It is anticipated that the institutions will be fully reimbursed in 8-12 years.
In addition, an informational kiosk will be located at each site providing visitors with the opportunity to learn more about solar power. Click here to view live and historical statistics on the solar generation at each site.
For more information, contact our Conservation Division at 552-2065.