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Success Story

Portland Rescue Mission Shepherd’s Door, Portland

Estimated annual savings: $12,000

It takes a village to change lives and that’s exactly what happened on the roof of Shepherd’s Door, Portland Rescue Mission’s addiction recovery community for women. Thanks to a unique arrangement between Twende Solar, Energy Trust and volunteers, a 100.6-kW solar system is saving $12,000 in estimated annual energy costs—making more money available for social services.

Twende Solar, a Portland nonprofit that develops solar projects in communities worldwide by leveraging donated materials and volunteer labor, learned that Portland Rescue Mission wanted, but couldn’t afford, solar energy. Twende Solar activated its network, and a dozen companies donated products and labor, including eight Energy Trust trade allies. An Energy Trust cash incentive of $38,300 helped make the project pencil out by paying for materials that were not donated.

More than 100 volunteers dedicated almost 1,600 hours to install the system. Two Shepherd’s Door residents volunteered on the roof alongside solar contractors, receiving hands-on construction experience that was life-changing. “I didn’t even know installing solar power was an industry,” said Brittany, a resident volunteer, who later enrolled in a construction pre-apprenticeship program and is pursuing a career as an electrical apprentice.

“Over the 25-year life of the system, we’ll save at least $300,000. We can use that money to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and help those overcoming addiction,” said Mike Deckon, director of marketing, Portland Rescue Mission.

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