Energy Trust of Oregon Boosts Incentives for Commercial Solar Systems

April 23, 2007

The Energy Trust of Oregon has announced it will offer new and higher incentives for commercial solar electric systems. The new incentives support photovoltaic systems up to 50 kilowatts (kW), and the maximum incentive has been increased to $70,000. By combining Energy Trust incentives with Oregon Business Energy Tax Credits, the Federal Investment Tax Credits and an accelerated depreciation schedule, businesses can reduce their energy costs while creating more clean energy.

The trust's cash incentives for solar electric systems are based on the size of the installation, measured in kilowatts of solar generating capacity. Systems up to 50 kW are eligible for incentives. Businesses may install systems larger than that, but the incentive is capped at 50 kW. All systems receiving the incentives are netmetered to the local utility grid, so owners receive a credit for power they generate but don't consume.

The solar incentive is structured in two tiers, with a higher incentive for the first 30 kW and a slightly lower incentive for the next 20 kW. The maximum total incentive a business can receive is $70,000 in Portland General Electric's service territory and $57,500 in Pacific Power's territory.

Solar electric systems may also qualify for state and federal tax credit programs, including the Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit, which is equal to 35 percent of eligible system cost; the federal investment tax credit, which is equal to 30 percent of installed system cost; and the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System, which allows businesses to recover investment in solar systems through rapid depreciation deductions on federal tax returns.

The Energy Trust of Oregon is a nonprofit organization that promotes energy efficiency and clean renewable energy for Oregon customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural, and Cascade Natural Gas Corporation. The Oregon Public Utilities Commission established the organization in 2002 and it is funded by a small charge on electricity customers of the state’s regulated utilities.

For more information, read the Energy Trust's April 17 press release (PDF 64 KB). Download Adobe Reader.

To read more information about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Oregon, see: