by Pramodh Jacob

Image for post
Image for post

At a time when solar is growing at such a fast rate, it is paramount to consider the human and environmental costs of solar panel production. Currently, the Xinjiang region in Western China produces a substantial amount of polysilicon, more than half of China’s total production capacity, according to HIS Markit Ltd.

Human rights watchdog groups and analysts have identified human rights abuses occurring specifically to the Uighur ethnic minority group who are mainly located in Xinjiang. The Uighurs, a largely Muslim minority, have faced persecution by the Chinese government including being forced out of their homes…

Image for post
Image for post

How did I get here?

I’m a tech guy, fascinated by innovation and disruptive thinking. Tech that seems like magic. Whether it was the new iPhone introduced back in 2007, or a sports car running on thousands of little lithium batteries in 2008.

My interest in solar began about five years ago in 2015. This time the attraction was in the potential to power our house, and fuel our EV with an endless transmission of wireless energy, seemingly pulled out of thin air, direct from the sun, right to our house. A very surreal concept. So I researched several options…

By Bob Patterson, Public Works Director

The City of Pendleton has been active with solar development since 2006. City staff was approached by Honeywell to take advantage of solar incentives and use one of our buildings for a pilot program. With City Council support, our Water Filtration Plant became home of our first city solar project, a roof mounted 100 kW DC static solar array. It was commissioned and completed in 2007 under a 20-year power purchase agreement with Honeywell. City pays them at a rate slightly less than the private utility, Pacific Power & Light, for the power produced…

Image for post
Image for post

Since 1996 I have owned a two-story mixed-use commercial building. This is my entire real estate “empire,” upon which I have worked extensively to retrofit my building toward net zero. I call her Overlook Corner and she was built in 1910.

Besides the solar, which I will describe in a couple of sentences, I replaced all of the residential windows with thermal insulated windows, added adjustable window shades throughout, and replaced all of the appliances with high Energy Star score ones.

We put on a new 40-year TPO cool roof over added roof insulation, installed 100% LED lighting and ceiling…

Solar Oregon Annual Meeting — keynote from Hunter Lovins

Solar Oregon’s Annual Meeting on December 1st was a look back at a challenging but successful year for our nonprofit, and for the clean energy movement. You can watch the recording — including a keynote address on the Solar Dominance Hypothesis from world-renowned sustainable development leader Hunter Lovins — here. Read on for the full story!

In February of this year, Solar Oregon was gearing up for a spring and summer packed full of solar tours, place-based Solarize campaigns, and clean energy workshops. More specifically, these were tours, campaigns, and workshops…

by Sara Holzknecht

Image for post
Image for post

The turbulent events of this year continue to drive home the need for rapid decarbonization. The West coast has again been ravaged by devastating fires, while the relentless Atlantic hurricane season has run out of names in the English alphabet and turned to the Greek alphabet as it continues. It’s long been clear we need a rapid build out of clean energy infrastructure, but now we must do it in the face of increasing threats from our changing climate. …

Creating a sustainably focused community in inner SE Portland, 34 residential units go fully net zero in 8 years

Kailash Ecovillage began as the run down Cabana apartment complex in inner SE Portland in 2007. Built in 1959 on 0.9 acres as a high end 32-unit apartment development, it had fallen into disrepair and one quarter of the units were unlivable. The original community spaces, including a party room and tropically themed bar, billiard hall, and swimming pool, had long been boarded up or closed down.

Image for post
Image for post
View of property in 2011 a few years before starting solar

My wife Maitri and I dreamed of taking our sustainable living journey, which until…

Image for post
Image for post
Solar on the main house

When I retired from my almost 40 years as a passive solar home designer, activist, and educator, with the prospect of time and singular focus, I was eager to embark on a project of my own…a SOLAR project of course. And so, Fenlake Farm was born. Fenlake Farm is a five-acre, orchard/woodlands located near the foothills of the Cascade Range within Oregon’s Willamette Valley. To keep building costs low, we used a hybrid of pre-fabricated and/or self-built structures.

The Pollastrinis’ Solar + Electric Vehicle Story

Image for post
Image for post
Fred in front of his home solar system in Sandy, OR

I’ve been interested in protecting and restoring the environment for decades. For years I thought that, even with incentives, solar panels on our house were way beyond our low budget. Early in 2012, we received a post card from a local Sandy company, ‘Energy Unlimited’, advertising solar installation. It convinced me to give them a call. They explained the incentives that were available and on August 1 2012 we went online with a system that covered our power bill.

In the last few years. I’ve been following the progress of Battery Electric Vehicles…

I suppose you can say my solar journey started when I was a kid, when I learned about the universe, galaxies, and stars. This fascination propelled me into the study of Physics throughout my youth. After graduating from college, I looked for jobs in only two industries, the solar industry and the software industry. As fate would have it, I ended up in the software industry for 14 years. While I do not regret this path, a large part of me was still fascinated by the stars, that which power the universe.

When I met my wife, Lotus, I discovered…

Solar Oregon

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store