The Corvallis Sustainability Coalition and the Oregon Clean Power Cooperative are teaming up to launch a new initiative aimed at transitioning Corvallis from fossil fuel-based energy to solar energy. Solarize Corvallis will use community investment to finance solar and battery systems at Corvallis schools, government buildings, low-income housing, and non-profits.
Shares of stock in the initiative’s first project, a 150 kW solar and battery system at the Corvallis School District office, were offered to Corvallis residents in September, and they promptly snapped up the offering in less than two hours.
The school district project, which will be located on the ground next to the district’s administrative offices, will both reduce the school district’s electric bill and carbon footprint. In addition, it will provide emergency backup power to the district’s computer and communications systems in case of a major grid outage caused by a natural disaster.
Over the last few years, OCPC has used community investment to build solar projects for schools, churches, nonprofits and municipalities around the state, including the 117 kW solar project at Corvallis High School, which was installed last year. Investors earn a return on their investment and get paid back with annual payments over ten years. Investors in the Corvallis High School project received their first checks in September.
“The Corvallis community has been looking for ways to put their money to work to help address climate change,” says Annette Mills, Facilitator of the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition. “The Solarize Corvallis initiative will allow community members to directly invest in our infrastructure to better prepare for the future, both in terms of disaster preparedness and the local impacts of a changing climate.”
“We have lots of trees shading our house, so we can’t put up solar panels,” says Corvallis Mayor Biff Traber, who has invested in both Corvallis school district projects. “So we were delighted to be able to join the community in investing in these solar projects.”
Mills notes that, while all the investment funds have been raised for the initial Corvallis School District project, donations of up to $3,000 are still being accepted. To donate, go to https://sustainablecorvallis.org/.
The Oregon Clean Power Cooperative is the only state-wide cooperative in the U.S. dedicated solely to community-owned renewable energy. Its member-financed projects keep capital circulating locally, create green jobs, and enable Oregon communities to become more self-reliant through locally-generated clean power. The Co-op focuses on schools, churches, nonprofits, local governments, and businesses, and it has successfully created multiple public-private partnerships to leverage tax credits for renewable energy. To learn more about the Oregon Clean Power Cooperative and its state-wide projects, go to http://oregoncleanpower.coop/.
The Corvallis Sustainability Coalition is a network of organizations and individuals who are working together to create a sustainable community. Its 350 partners include businesses, nonprofit organizations, faith communities, educational institutions, and government entities—all committed to creating a community that values environmental quality, social equity, and economic vitality. The Coalition fosters communication and collaboration among its partners to accelerate progress toward a sustainable future. Their work has built on the efforts and accomplishments of the City of Corvallis and other community groups.