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Solar for Public Entities

Cities, counties, school districts and other public entities across Oregon are installing solar to reduce operating costs and take action on sustainability goals. Battery storage added to a solar system supports community resilience by keeping the power on for essential buildings — like police or fire stations — during outages. And for new public buildings, solar projects and battery storage help meet the Oregon law requiring 1.5% of construction costs go toward green energy technology.  

Energy Trust works with public entities by offering a Solar Development Assistance incentive, to help determine the potential of a project, as well as solar installation incentives to make projects more affordable. 

Your organization may also qualify for other grants or rebates, and an Energy Trust solar trade ally can help you connect with those resources (see the Financing tab below).

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  1. Establish your eligibility.

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    You must be an Oregon customer of Portland General Electric or Pacific Power and working with an approved Energy Trust solar trade ally contractor to be eligible for incentives.  

  2. Start with Solar Development Assistance.

    Energy Trust Solar Development Assistance incentives offset upfront costs of a solar feasibility report that will provide you with a custom system design and cost-benefit analysis. Request free customized proposals to get started, and we can connect you with three solar trade ally contractors. See our guide to choosing a contractor and comparing bids. 

  3. Your system is designed and verified.

    Once you receive a solar feasibility report, Energy Trust reviews the plans for your system to make sure it meets our rigorous technical standards and qualifies for installation incentives.  

  4. Get support with funding and procurement.

    Your Energy Trust solar trade ally contractor can help identify grants or rebates, in addition to Energy Trust cash incentives, that you may be eligible to receive. The custom solar feasibility report from your solar trade ally provides the information you need to complete grant applications or issue a request for proposal. Your Energy Trust incentives will be paid directly to your contractor, who will deduct the incentive amount from your contract, reducing upfront costs. 

  5. Get installation proposals from Energy Trust solar trade ally contractors.

    Once you decide to move forward with your solar project, as a public entity you may need to receive additional quotes for your installation or send your RFP out for bid. We can connect you with approved Energy Trust solar trade allies so that you can make the best choice for your project’s needs and ensure that your system qualifies for Energy Trust installation incentives.  

    Request installation proposals >   

  6. Your system is installed.

    Your Energy Trust trade ally contractor will install your system. In many cases, when a project is complete, we visit to verify the system was installed properly. 

Energy Trust Incentives 

To help you determine the solar potential of your project, Energy Trust offers a Solar Development Assistance incentive of up to $1,800. Energy Trust also offers cash incentives that reduce the upfront cost of solar installations. The installation incentive amount depends on the size of your system and your electric utility. Incentives are subject to funding availability and may change at any time. Check with your trade ally contractor. 

Your Utility Solar Development Assistance Incentive Requirements
Portland General Electric $1,800 max

90% of the cost up to $1,800

Your Utility Installation Incentive Requirements
Portland General Electric $20,000 max.

$0.20/watt

Project size cap: 400 kW-DC

Estimate the incentive for PGE customers >

Pacific Power $20,000 max.

$0.20/watt

Project size cap: 400 kW-DC

Estimate the incentive for Pacific Power customers >

Additional solar options 

  • Community Solarsubscription options if you lease, if your roof doesn’t have enough sun exposure, or if your budget doesn’t allow for investment in your own system 
  • Community Solar Project Development assistance for qualifying organizations interested in developing Community Solar projects.   

Other rebates and grants 

In addition to Energy Trust incentives, public entities installing solar may be eligible for the following funding sources. Connecting early with an Energy Trust solar trade ally and taking advantage of Energy Trust Solar Development Assistance can help you prepare to apply for these resources. 

Need Help? Contact Us.

We’re here to explain the process and benefits. Call us at 1.877.777.4018 or send us an email atsolar@energytrust.org.